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Mike’s Place undergoes facelift, keeps doors open late

Jennifer Gabelein hands an ice cream cone to Brandon Kelley Friday at the renovated Mike’s Place Restaurant in Langley. Standing nearby is Gabrielle Guidry, who makes espresso drinks at the restaurant. - Stephen Mercer
Jennifer Gabelein hands an ice cream cone to Brandon Kelley Friday at the renovated Mike’s Place Restaurant in Langley. Standing nearby is Gabrielle Guidry, who makes espresso drinks at the restaurant.
— image credit: Stephen Mercer

Seeking to attract a more diverse crowd, Mike’s Place in Langley restaurant unveiled a new look and new hours.

Since mid-July, customers have been buying ice cream and espresso, surfing the Internet or sitting in an easy chair to read a newspaper or magazine.

An Xbox entertainment system, big-screen television and chess board provide some of the entertainment options for the younger crowd.

To make the changes, the owners removed most of the 27 tables and booths in the restaurant. All of the new features are near the front entrance. Tables remain in the lower section of the restaurant for dining.

The remodel — which is still in process — will cost $75,000 to $80,000.

The owners also stretched the hours to run from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. in the front part and 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. in the lower area to draw more business.

The longer hours mean options for people when they leave the Clyde Theater, which is adjacent to Mike’s Place on First Street, said Mike Rosenburg, the owner of Mike’s Place.

All the changes seem to have hit the target.

Rosenburg said people lined up for four hours during the Choochokam festival July 16 and 17 to buy ice cream. In fact, he said last weekend was his busiest in 20 years of running Mike’s Place.

“We’ve had such an incredible reaction,” he said.

People who have not eaten at Mike’s Place in 10 years returned to the restaurant after the changes, said Mary-Elizabeth Rosenburg, Mike’s wife.

Mike Rosenburg credits Mary-Elizabeth and his step-daughter Geniel for the changes.

He said Mary-Elizabeth and Geniel took out a barrier in the top half of the restaurant, removed 18 tables and booths, painted the ceiling, ripped out the salad bar and carpet, installed new lights and made other changes.

A contractor also built and installed cabinets.

For Mary-Elizabeth, the changes made economic sense.

Mike’s Place sits in a prime location in the city at the intersection of First Street and Anthes Avenue, she said.

By making the restaurant a destination for all ages, more people will stop by for meals or something else.

The city of Vancouver B.C. provided inspiration for the changes. “Something with a lot of spirit,” Rosenburg said.

Mike Rosenburg said he did not make many changes to the menu.

He added that no employees lost their jobs when the tables were removed because the longer hours require the same amount of staff as before.

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