Nikki’s Cafe recently moved from its three year home at 604 Pleasant Street to its new downtown location at 431 E. Grand. While the move was quite sudden, many of its patrons (including Beloit students) have commented that its new locale is more central and convenient. Nikki’s will also share their downstairs space with The Cheese People of Beloit. Its construction is currently underway and is expected to be complete by this summer. At first Nikki’s is a little hard to spot; over the door is a sign for the décor shop Welcome Home Interiors, which remains upstairs. Yet once you walk into Nikki’s, it’s evident that not much has changed. The atmosphere is still relaxed, employees are friendly and faithful customers still come down every day for their daily cups of coffee.
This Sunday, I sat down for an interview with two down-to-earth baristas who chatted about the move and what they see for the future.
Round Table: What were some reasons for the move?
Morgann Jean Hansen: Before we moved downtown, Nikki’s was off to the side and isolated. We were like that weird cousin that no one ever visits, and we were at that location for three years. We’re more central now, and I think sharing the space with The Cheese People will really help our business.
RT: How has the move benefited the community?
Megan Kirkpatrick: I like how all sorts of people come in. People from all ages and experience; older people, little kids, college students. And for Beloit College students, I think the bigger space is a lot better because it makes it so much easier to study!
MJH: We were able to remain a free and relaxed environment… Nikki’s is like a sanctuary.
RT: When is the best time to come down and study?
MK: Well, it’s hard to say. Lunch is usually busy. But sometimes it depends on the weather. If it’s a rainy day it’s usually slow. People don’t want to walk down in the rain.
RT: It’s really not that far… students are just lazy. That being said, which location do you like better?
MJH: Well, I’m kind of split between the two. I like them both; at the old Nikki’s I loved the view of the river. I also worked there for two years so I was used to everything, but now I’ve become more acquainted with downtown.
RT: So The Cheese People are moving in soon. When do you anticipate the construction will be completed?
MJH: Probably the end of this month or beginning of the next. But we’ll see if it happens. We were out for five weeks due to construction.
RT: Any new or special offers to kick off the new location?
MJH: Not yet, but we’re thinking about it. We’re going to be starting the specialty latte of the day. And we had a leprechaun drink for St. Patty’s Day… so things like that.
MK: Not much has really changed. We still offer the bottomless coffee cup. And the student discount is still 10 percent off with ID.
RT: What do you see for the future of Nikki’s?
MJH: The perfect Nikki’s? Well, I’d like things to remain the same. We’re not waitresses, and I like that about my job. Also it’ll be interesting to trade customers with The Cheese People. And there’s going to be a lot of cheese, wine and coffee deals which I’m excited about. I really love cheese.
Be sure to visit Nikki’s for great coffee, food and company. Their hours are Monday-Friday 6:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. and weekends 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. For more updates about summer developments and the upcoming fall semester, follow Nikki’s on Twitter @NikkisCafe.