Veterans open café downtown
Military veterans Nate Peltier and Nate Nowak have opened a café in one of downtown's landmark buildings.
The pair opened Silver Star Café last week in the Calder Plaza Building, at 250 Monroe Ave. NW, to serve the business community and other veterans.
Silver Star Café takes its name from the military’s Silver Star, which is one of the highest awards given in the military.
“We wanted to translate that into the food service world, in that we are going to give people some of the highest-quality food, some of the best food possible,” Peltier said.
Silver Star Café has seating for 28, and its seasonal outdoor patio will accommodate 12 customers.
Right now, the café operates from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on weekdays, and weekend hours will likely be added.
The café's breakfast and lunch menus also feature military themes: Commander Combos; Special Ops Soups; Bronze Star Breakfast; Silver Star Wraps; and Purple Heart-y Pressed Paninis and Subs.
For lunch, the pair recommend trying the General Nowak Chili or the Colonel Peltier Sub.
Peltier and Nowak said they’ve seen a lot of veterans stopping in, and on the day of its grand opening, the café attracted veterans from all over the region.
“We’ve reached out to veterans and are trying to reel them in — as another opportunity, as a safe place and a place to talk to other vets,” Peltier said. “Veterans need that camaraderie, and there are not a lot of other places for them to go to.”
Veterans receive a 10-percent discount on their orders.
Food truck and catering
Silver Star Café is also launching its “deployed unit” — a food truck — on April 1.
Peltier said they plan to use social media to let people know where the truck is deployed downtown each day.
The food truck will serve Silver Star Café’s most popular items.
Peltier and Nowak are also working on contracts with local VFWs, American Legions and the Salvation Army, and the pair said they also hope to work with local VAs on Silver Star Café-catered events and food truck deployments.
Local businesses can also request catering and food truck services.
Peltier and Nowak first became interested in opening some sort of food service business during their military service. Both had roles as food service specialists and found they really enjoyed it.
Also, Nowak discovered his knack for cooking when he entered his chili recipe into contests held at military bases, taking first, second and third place in various contests.