Havre Daily News
Countryside Bagel Cafe opened Wednesday on First Street and by noon, there were almost a dozen customers waiting in line.
Owner Tamara Nystrom, who was born and raised in Havre, said the turnout was "wonderful.
"Havre needed something new," Nystrom said during a brief break from the kitchen.
J.D. Schuschke of Havre agreed. He was intrigued by a smoke-free restaurant, and said the cafe might be a new regular stop for lunch for him and his fellow workers at the Boys & Girls Club of the Hi-Line.
"I grew up here but then moved elsewhere. I missed the Buckin' Bagels in Boise," said Schuschke.
His co-worker, Laura Holmlund, said three out of about 18 Boys & Girls Club of the Hi-Line employees were there Wednesday, but next time they'll try to get all of them to give the new restaurant a try.
The restaurant has a conference room for private meetings with seating for about 20 diners and another secluded room with room for about 18 more.
Nystrom said she wanted to open the restaurant because she likes making food and loves making people feel good. She added that they are very open to suggestions, both negative and positive.
The cafe, which is open 6:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Saturday, has four employees. She said she's still looking for more workers.
Nystrom said she chose the spot for its central location and because it had a kitchen. The building has previously housed Iron Horse restaurant, Park Restaurant and Golden Chopsticks.
Nystrom and her crew had to clean non-stop for two weeks because everything was greasy and unkempt, she said. They also painted the place and put up the countryside decor. Most of the decorations were donated to Nystrom by her family.
Nystrom's family also tested her creations before they were added to the menu.
"Everything was tried out by my husband. He's very honest," Nystrom said.
The cafe's menu is not limited to bagels. It also serves sandwiches, salads, soups, pies and daily casserole specials.
Kyle Leeds of Havre had Wednesday's special Tater Tot casserole and said it was "outstanding.
"It was a good, hearty homestyle meal," said Leeds.
The cafe will begin delivery on Monday. The delivery range will be within the Havre city limits. Call 265-4435 to place an order.
"I want to thank everyone for being patient and going out on a limb," Nystrom said.