By Jennifer Pund
The “big yellow building” in Nederland is set to open for business again and fans who miss menu items like the Mountain Muffin couldn’t be happier. Ned’s is the new name for the restaurant—which will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner—but the owners are quite familiar with the building and was its former occupant. This time they are in charge, and have created the restaurant and menu they want in order to serve Nederland diners well. An early April opening is planned.
Becky and Derek Dwyer have a long history with the former Whistler’s Café. In fact, Derek has opened this restaurant in this same location, five times. In 1990, he took a job with the first owner, Gary Camp, and was then involved with Whistler’s on and off for 26 years. Most recently, the Dwyers re-opened the restaurant as Original Whistler’s in the same building last summer. With building ownership issues and restrictions finally in the past, the couple is excited to get to run the business as they see fit. In April, the couple will officially open their own restaurant concept, Ned’s, in the same place they had their wedding reception in 2008.
Customers will be pleasantly surprised with the changes inside the restaurant, while still finding some old favorites for breakfast, lunch and dinner on the menu. Ned’s will be open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. In the months to come, look for live music nights once or twice a month as well. Working with a long-term lease, and mostly the same staff, the couple said they will be able to be there for many years.
“We are so excited and feel the town is just as excited, too,” Becky said. “Everyone we have talked to has been like, ‘Really? When can I come in?’”
When Original Whistler’s had to close last fall, the couple and the business were still gaining steam, after starting on a high note. “The local support was phenomenal and the locals were just as happy we were back as we were,” Becky said. “This has been Derek’s dream for the past 25 years.”
Derek agrees and knows what Becky had done to make his dream a reality. “It has been my dream and she has sacrificed for my dream.” Becky said it’s been a long road to get there, but they are in deed, finally there.
Revenue from last summer was more than anything Derek expected. “The numbers, projections, everything. And, it was great to see people I hadn’t seen in 10 years. They had been trickling in, one or two every week. We were actually getting the ’90s crowd back.”
The couple has made more significant changes to the restaurant since Original Whistlers closed that only a visit can reveal, but it’s safe to say the customer experience will be heightened. “I don’t want to let the cat out of the bag, but I can say we are doing some esthetic changes that will give a new feeling to the restaurant, Becky said, “even more so than last summer. But, the building will stay yellow and pink.”
Diners to Ned’s can expect similar items to past menus found at Whistlers, but with a slight twist. Customers can order the Ned’s Muffin and will receive what they remember the Mountain Muffin to be. “There will be some slight changes, like the Ned’s Muffin, but all the local favorites will be there like the Bob’s special will still be on the menu,” Becky said.
Derek is also bringing back his famous waffles. “Waffles are a big one. Gary threw the waffle iron at me because I forgot to spray pan coating on it. He got rid of them after that, and that was in 1992,” he explained.
For lunch Ned’s will feature “great burgers, subs and sandwiches.” For dinner they will have favorites like steaks, chicken cordon bleu, Ahi tuna and much more. “What we want to be known for is friendly service and over-sized portions of delicious food,” Becky said.
The couple is still working on booking bands but assures that music will be a part of the new restaurant. “We don’t know when we will start music, but it will probably be at least once a month, or a few times a month,” she explained. “We are still working it all out, but food service will stop around 9 p.m. and the music will start around 10 p.m. and go until 2 a.m.”
The couple said they are really happy they were able to find a buyer for the building who in turn offered Ned’s a long term lease. “Basically what happened is someone else purchased the building and we are leasing from them,” she said. “We are so ecstatic to be there and have a long term lease, so we are planning to be there for years. The town needs this as much as we do.”
For the most part, the employees the couple hired last summer will be returning. “We don’t hire, we recruit and find the best and those are the people who made Whistler’s family,” Becky said. “We really made a family and run our business like a family, so 90 percent of our employees from last summer will be returning. These people waited around for six months for us, doing small jobs in between. They are such amazing people and to have that kind of loyalty to us, that’s huge.”
Take in the new changes and indulge in some old favorites, the Ned’s family is waiting to serve you.
Ned’s is located at 121 North Jefferson St. in Nederland. For more information, call 303-258-0614 or find them on Facebook.