The first year of The Nook in Milton’s existence wasn't exactly normal for a new business, but owners Dina and Oscar Escamilla have weathered these strange days and come out the other side.
The Nook, formerly known as Good Morning Breakfast Nook, stepped up its game after the COVID-19 pandemic hit, adding dinner service, takeout and combination meals. The Escamillas also added an outdoor seating tent once eat-in service was allowed.
With those changes in mind, Dina said they were no longer just a breakfast place, so to reflect that, they changed the name to just The Nook.
“When the lockdown started, the first day of lockdown, we added dinners. It was kind of a survival move. We just established a regular clientele, so they asked us to add it after we reopened for dine-in, so that’s what we’ve done,” Dina said.
Among the dinner items are classic favorites like meatloaf, pastas, crab cakes, lasagna, New York strip steak, baby back ribs and chicken parmesan. The lunch menu includes burgers, sandwiches, quesadillas and tacos.
The new outdoor tent added 24 seats, which makes up for the indoor capacity lost due to social distancing measures.
Of the changes, Dina said, “When it first hit, it was obviously a shock. But then, we needed to figure out what to do to survive. Right up front, it was, ‘Breakfast is not going to fly,’ because breakfast was not good for to-go, so we decided, let’s make something really affordable. We decided to create a short menu that changes from day to day. We’re offering family meals. We just started introducing different dishes and seeing what people liked.”
Dina said The Nook has an open-door policy, allowing customers to make suggestions of what they would potentially like to see on the menu. She said the approach paid off quickly, doing 300 dinners on Easter and topping that on Mother’s Day before restaurants were allowed to reopen for dine-in service.
Still, the future comes with its own uncertainties. With fall and winter approaching, the weather is set to get cooler, but the virus will still be around. Dina said The Nook has ordered heaters for the outdoor seating area and plans to have a new tent.
For more information on The Nook, call 302-291-2857 or visit www.facebook.com/thenookinmiltonde.