When Matt Weafer got his first job at the Big Dipper when he was 16, he began dreaming of owning his own restaurant someday.

The dream intensified in 2013, when he became executive chef at the Campbell Club.

And Friday, it came true when he and his wife, Jessica, bought Niko’s Bakery & Cafe in Wesleyan Park Plaza from the Nousiadis family one week before the restaurant’s first anniversary.

Weafer was the restaurant’s head chef.

“I laid out the restaurant and built the menu,” he said. “There won’t be much change. The name will stay the same. The menu is always evolving, but there are no major changes.”

Weafer said he and his wife are “very happy” with the businesses’ first year.

“We love the location,” he said. “This part of town is happening again. We’re in the middle of town.”

That’s important because Niko’s offers delivery to offices and uses DoorDash for residential delivery.

But 80% of the business is dine-in in the 30-seat restaurant, he said.

“We have a drive-through window,” Weafer said. “But a lot of people don’t realize it.”

Hours are from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday.

“Lunch is our busiest time,” Weafer said. “But we do a lot of breakfast deliveries to offices. And evenings are dessert central.”

Top items on the menu, he said, are probably the bourbon apple salad and porchetta sandwich.

The bakery features European breads, pastries, cheesecakes, desserts, sandwiches, soups and salads.

“We’re excited about the opportunities here,” Weafer said.

His restaurant experience also includes stints at Beyond the Brim and Famous Bistro.

Keith Lawrence, 270-691-7301, klawrence@messenger-inquirer.com

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