Robbie and I were having lunch on the deck at Chapati on Saturday when a Northfield Lines bus pulled up in front of the Archer House to pick up a wedding party. With cars parked in the spaces at both ends of the no-parking zone, I assumed the driver would just be able to pull in a tiny bit, but would otherwise be blocking much of the lane on Division St.
But he backed it in, just like backing a car into a parallel parking spot. While backing up, he got so close to that Mini Cooper (center photo) that I assumed the bus had an external video camera at the rear to guide him. When the car parked near the front of the bus pulled out, he was then able to bring the bus all the way to the curb, which is when I took the photos.
The driver was long-time Northfielder Jack Parker who said the bus was not equipped with any cameras or other electronic tools to assist him in parking. He attributed his being able to eyeball it to being a farm boy. Impressive. He said he loved his job way more than over-the-road and when I watched him greet the wedding party as they stepped onto the bus, it was obvious.
Bittersweet Eatery & Gathering Place in the Archer House closed yesterday. Nfld Patch’s story:
Like other restaurant owners in Northfield, [Jane] Volkert has dealt with rising commodity prices at the same time customers are watching their spending more. She attributed the closing to “the economy.”
The restaurant has been for sale for several months. Volkert spoke with her staff about the closing when she made the decision, and as a result, her staff has been reduced from six employees to three.
Todd Byhre, general manager of the Archer House River Inn, which leases the space to Volkert, said the hotel is exploring options to fill the area, possibly keeping it as a coffee shop, but nothing is set in stone.
See also Nfld News: Downtown coffee shop to close — but for how long?
Jim Bohnhoff, Bohnhoff Design, installed a new sign on the front of the Archer House River Inn in downtown Northfield yesterday afternoon.
I asked Jim to point to the small sign at the bottom that says:
Main & Lower Levels
Given that I’ve been complaining for a year about the lack of signage for the $100,000 public toilets, paid for by taxpayers, I’m happy to see it. But it sure is small.
On the agenda at tonight’s City Council meeting:
The Northfield Historical Society (NHS) is adding an elevator to the building that will allow for ADA access to all three levels of the building. This project will also include the addition of six (6) ADA compliant restrooms that will be open to the public. The demand for more public restrooms is particularly important during community events in the Downtown Business District… The Northfield Historical Society’s request to the City is for $60,000.00 from the Master Development/TIF District #4 Fund. The overall project budget is currently budgeted for $700,000.00. The restroom phase of the project will cost $175,000. This project is scheduled to be completed by January 2011.
The Archer House, which got $100,000 last year for public restrooms as part of its renovation, still has not put up any exterior signs alerting the public to their availability.
The owner of the Archer House, Brett Reese, is co-chair of the NHS Next Level Campaign, and will be speaking to the Council tonight on the NHS request.
I support the loan but I think the Council should stipulate that NHS publicize the existence of the public restrooms on the exterior of the Scriver Building, and, retroactively, the Archer House.
The Northfield Public Library and the Archer House were looking so pretty during Tuesday’s snowfall, I just had to take a few photos.
See album of 10 photos, the large slideshow (recommended), or this small slideshow:
I noticed last night that the Contented Cow put up signs pointing to the ‘secret’ public restrooms at the Archer House. Suffering from Hypopistoferone syndrome, I took the opportunity to show my support, Big Daddy style.
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