Juan Moreno opened his all new Melody Restaurant in Coulee Dam Monday.
He is open for both breakfast and lunch, opening at 6 a.m. to catch workers who have to eat out before going to their job, and closing after the lunch trade.
Shuttered for 14 months after the last proprietors went out of business, The Melody is now new in a number of ways. The old-style booths are gone and those patronizing the restaurant will be seated at tables scattered in the attractive dining room. Seating capacity is at 46 for now. An overflow room, which used to be the bar, will be revitalized later.
Moreno came to the area three years ago and has been working at LaPresa Restaurant in Grand Coulee.
The remodeling has been a slow, but persistent process. Moreno has been working on the restaurant, cleaning it up, refitting the interior, and he has ended up with a new look. The town of Coulee Dam has installed a new walk-in cooler, when it was disclosed that the old one was 40 years old and not working properly.
Moreno credits Coulee Dam Mayor Quincy Snow and his wife as being most helpful. The two did some painting in the restaurant to help him out. “And I couldn’t have done it without the help of Karl Hjorten,” he added. Hjorten is on the town council. He also stated that those at LaPresa have been supportive.
The new owner has restaurant experience in Los Angeles, Boise and, for three years, here.
“I plan to keep the menu simple,” Moreno stated. He’ll have a stable steak and eggs on the menu and most of the popular breakfast dishes. Freshly squeezed orange juice will be available and European omelets will be on the menu. Moreno plans to specialize in pasta dishes on his lunch menu, including shrimp scampi, chicken gorgy and tortellini bolognese.
Burgers are available including a Charles Dickens, made up of a homemade patty, sauteed mushrooms, bacon, choice of cheese with a spear of pickle and fries.
Those wandering into the newly conditioned restaurant for the first time will see a bright, roomy look.
Juan’s sister Veronica, and a daughter, Nohemy, will both be involved at the restaurant.
As much as possible, menu items will be homemade, Juan indicated.
The Melody will sell beer and wine and, “We’ll likely have champagne for special occasions,” he stated.
“My goal is to create a clean environment for my guests,” Moreno said.