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Michiana natives open new restaurant in downtown Niles

NOW: Michiana natives open new restaurant in downtown Niles

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NILES, Mich.—A new restaurant quietly, officially opened on Thursday night in the old Riverfront Café building in downtown Niles.

Michiana natives and brother and sister duo Chance and Sage Smith bought the building four years ago with idea of opening up a family restaurant.

“My dad stated that he always wanted to open up a restaurant and we all kind of jumped on board,” Sage Smith, co-owner of new restaurant, The Rage.

It’s been a long road full of hard work and Smith says she’s happy they decided to just open up instead of promote it and wait.

“We had to do a lot of cleaning, we completely gutted the kitchen, redid it, revamped it, all of the coolers had to be revamped so it was just a lot of work at first internally that people didn’t really see,” Smith said. “We finally got ready and we’re just like ‘you know we could promote it and push it for a month or we could just open and people will find out eventually.’”

 Smith says her family came up with the restaurant’s name as a play on the saying “all the rage,” because it was something they could all agree on.

“We just wanted to simplify it,” Smith said.

Located in the heart of Niles’ downtown area, The Rage now offers fare for the whole family.

“We have many options for allergy sensitivities, gluten free, vegetarian, vegan, anyone can get anything,” Smith said.

Smith says her current favorite menu item is the veggie burger because it’s homemade.

“We’re all pretty health conscious. We enjoy food, so it was cool to open something that we had control over what we served and what we offered people,” Smith said.

While not currently serving alcohol, Smith says to expect to see a full bar in about a month’s time. The Rage is currently working with local breweries to offer a tap house in their new restaurant.

Smith says eventually, the second floor of the building will house a bakery and offer frozen yogurt.

The Rage is located at 219 N. Front St. in Niles and is currently open Wednesday and Thursday from 11 a.m. until 10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. until 11 p.m.

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