THE BRIGHT SIDE
The throw-back revolutionary coffee shop in Richmond.
What can be learned from what they are doing there? The music is modern but quietly pleasing, always. How do they do that? It’s also at just the right volume, so you can write, talk, or work on a computer without difficulty or bother. The coffee is excellent, yet faintly expensive ($2.95 for a small cup), but for everything else, worth it. Parking is clean, plentiful, and great on the street right to the south side. The shop space inside is huge with four big fans on the ceiling to keep things moving even though it’s fully air-conditioned and heated. 15 tables inside and six outside. Lots of room. The fastest Wi-Fi around (560 down and 80 up). Ice water in real glass glasses. Service to the tables, so no waiting in a line or at a counter.
Food is delicious (ham, egg, and cheese sandwich $8, Veggie salad $9, Denver Omelet $10). Ceramic plates and steel silverware. Seven workers working at 10:30 on a Saturday, not counting in the kitchen. Real brick, real wood flooring, real everything everywhere. 12 miles from Lake Geneva. 12 minutes on Hwy 12. Tough to compete with but coffee shops in and around Geneva Lake better start. It’s called the Richmond Café…open for less than a year but going places. Richmond is right across the Wisconsin/Illinois line. For these people, and this place, the authorities that be ought to consider moving that line just a tad south.
The Walworth County Fair is back for ‘jam-packed fun” in 2021.
The fair runs Wednesday, September 1st, through Monday, September 7th, and is celebrating 172 years of family fun in Walworth County. Don’t forget to pick up this year’s souvenir pack, consisting of three locally crafted jams-strawberry, triple berry, and apple pie. Simply stop at the fair souvenir booth and purchase yours before you leave. Sunday, the Fair is hosting an antique tractor and car parade held in the grandstand area starting at 11 a.m. New for 2021, is the Walworth County FFA’s grill-n-chill, where the purveyors will be serving up grilled cheese and shakes.
Also new and controversial this year is the fair’s just applied alcohol policy. For the first time ever in the fair’s long history, patrons will be allowed to purchase beer and wine and may enjoy these drinks while walking around the entirety of the fairgrounds. Drinks will not be allowed in barns or exhibit areas, however. As always, the fair will end with the popular demolition derby, and then the children will be off to bed in preparation for the first day of school on Tuesday.
Yes, school time is here, as Labor Day is breaking and the visitors who’ve paid so many bills, taken up so many parking places, absorbed so much food and drink, and now will be crossing down into Illinois until next year are going away. Will they be missed? Some are part-time residents in beautiful homes only occupied for part of the year. They’ll mostly be missed. Then there are those who come up, stay in hotels and Airbnb facilities. They won’t be so missed, depending upon how they conducted themselves in the neighborhoods where these part-time rentals are allowed. Finally, there are the day visitors who come and go very quickly, funding the outrage of paying eight bucks to go to the beach, buying all the food up in restaurants that have increased their prices one hundred percent this year just to take advantage of them…they’ll be missed a lot! Traffic will subside. Parking will be available all over the place. Nobody will probably make funny finger gestures at others at four-way stops, and the money will drain away as these visitors go.
Octoberfest is coming. Christmas is coming. The Fair is here. Winterfest will be in January. There’s stuff to bring people back but the darker business days of November through March will have to be endured. That time is ‘local time’ and locals should take full advantage of the lack of crowds and rise in their importance to all the merchants.