ROCHESTER — On a chilly Monday morning in January, Fresh Vibes Cafe downtown had a small but growing group of diners inside.
Two of the booths were occupied by couples visiting Fresh Vibes for the first time, while a pair of regulars — one celebrating her 74th birthday — took a seat at another.
When he wasn’t working his way back and forth from the narrow kitchen in the rear of the restaurant, Rich Enis was stationed behind the bar updating guests’ tabs and keeping the music on point.
Enis, who moved back to New Hampshire from Chicago last year, decided to pitch in to help his sister with her restaurant, which is still less than a year old. Now 32, he attended middle school in Rochester and enjoys seeing the occasional familiar face — whether it’s a former teacher or classmate — come through the door.
Between those old acquaintances and the restaurant’s regulars, Enis is getting to know more and more of the people who frequent Fresh Vibes.
“I know a lot of people by name here, which is pretty cool,” said Enis, who had worked in the moving business prior to joining Fresh Vibes. “I was just helping out here on the weekends until I found another job, but I was having a lot of fun doing something different.”
Kris Enis opened Fresh Vibes last summer, and since then the restaurant has become an appealing downtown destination for people from all walks of life. Despite still only measuring the restaurant’s age in months, rather than years, they can expect many of the same people to come in on the same days every week.
“That’s what’s cool about Rochester,” said Rich Enis. “You know, if you go to Chicago and open a restaurant, nobody is going to care. But here, people notice.”
Saturdays feature live music from 9 a.m to noon, and on weekday mornings from 7-9, the cafe offers egg and cheese sandwiches with bacon or sausage on English muffins for $1.75, or it can be combined with a coffee for $3.75.
Fresh Vibes Cafe, 45 North Main St. in Rochester, is online at www.facebook.com/freshvibescafe. It’s open Sunday-Tuesday from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Wednesday-Saturday from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.