Destination: Country Charm

Rushville has a new kid on the block. With a name the same as its address, it’s easy to remember where 1 Water Street Restaurant and Market is located. Opened in November 2013, it’s been serving not only good food, but also a good amount of country charm. And that’s just how owner Serg Couture wants it to be.

I stopped in for breakfast when I was passing through Rushville. Wood floors gleaming, the hard wood counter is surrounded by comfortable stools, fresh wildflowers sit on all the tables, and reading material rests on the counter. Patrons chat with people at other tables, while new customers, greeted by name, stop to say hello to neighbors before finding a seat. Part country café and part Internet café, customers use laptops and iPads while sipping on their coffee. This is definitely a neighborhood gathering place. My breakfast was plentiful – loaded omelet, big Texas toast and home fries just the way I like them. I applaud myself for finding a great place to stop and sit a spell.

I chatted a bit with Serg about his new venture. He is a concrete man by trade, who put his building and business skills to work in creating this restaurant. He smiles as he tells me, “That counter is made of concrete.” The restaurant currently serves breakfast and lunch seven days a week, but that’s just the starting point.

Serg has big plans and a great vision for all he wants to add to 1 Water Street. Promoting and supporting the local community is a key component to his vision. “We have local artists hanging their work on our walls, and we have musicians in the restaurants on weekends,” he tells me.

The restaurant serves dinner Thursday through Saturday – fish fry with ocean perch and haddock, homemade fries and potato chips, hand-pressed burgers, and lasagna. The menu is a mix of American and Italian, but Serg continues to add more variety. His wife Sandy and the other cooks are working on creating new fare. “We’re trying more recipes, adding more international dinners and listening to what our customers like,” he says. They plan to expand their dinner hours into additional evenings.

Serving the handicapped members in his community is important to him. “We have some people with special needs who have dietary restrictions, and we try hard to accommodate their special dietary needs.” He points out his flat parking lot and easy access entrance, all good features for handicap accessibility.

Around to the back is an almost finished ice cream stand, opening in June 2014. Complete with a drive-up window and a small sitting area inside, Serg plans to add some picnic tables and a bit more concrete for a deck to create a relaxing outdoor sitting area. Swings are on order and arriving any day, completing his child-friendly environment.

Plans are in place for a farmer’s market on Saturdays, starting in July. And he also wants his own fresh produce. “I want to have a garden out back to grow the fresh vegetables we serve in the restaurant.”

Serg wants his restaurant to be a community gathering place with a country atmosphere; he is well on his way to making it all come together. Next time you’re passing through Rushville, take the time to stop at 1 Water Street. Eat some good home cooking, have an ice cream cone or glide on the swings. Sit back and relax, and enjoy the country charm.

by Cindy Ruggieri

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