Staff and residents gathered for the grand reopening ceremony of The Colonial Café on Feb. 26.
Reminder Publishing photo by Tyler Garnet

CHICOPEE — On Feb. 26, Mayor John Vieau and Colonial Café owners Vicki and Kenneth Cotton welcomed the city of Chicopee to the grand reopening of their place.

Vieau said, “It’s a place that people come from all over Western Massachusetts to enjoy fine food and entertainment. The staff is also amazing. This renovation is something special. It’s the reopening of a place that has a lot of history in Chicopee.”

The Colonial Café had been closed since October 2023 due to renovations and reopened at the beginning of February. The cafe has been a staple in the community for more than a decade.

Vicki Cotton said, “When we bought the place, it was very obsolete, I’ll use that word, very old and dated, and as the years went by, we upgraded and remodeled then finally we redid the kitchen.”

The building renovations included repainting the inside, adding new floors, redoing the back room, sanding and urethane the floors.

“Just upgrading what we had. The kitchen was the biggest upgrade. We didn’t have a hood system before,” Vicki Cotton added.

She described the old kitchen as small and without an Ansul fire suppression system.

She added that after renovations the kitchen has “a top-of-the-line” Ansul system, three fryers, two convection ovens, a salamander, a grill top and freezers to “make a plethora of foods.”

Vicki Cotton said that the hours are still a work in progress until breakfast starts but right now, the Colonial is open Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., as well as Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The cafe will also open soon for breakfast on Saturday and Sunday.

Vicki Cotton talked about what it meant to have so much community support at her grand reopening.

She said, “It’s really breathtaking to be acknowledged for what we do. We do a lot of fundraiser things here, we’ve won three years in a row to fill the boot for the Fire Department, if anybody is in need of anything, it’s just a big community thing to help everybody. I don’t even have the words for the support, it’s just amazing.”

With a wide range of items on the menu, Vicki Cotton said there is one thing that all guests should try.

“We are very well known for our seafood. I have been using this recipe for over 30 years and it’s just a fantastic recipe. My husband and I were in Rhode Island, we were introduced to a couple, and they knew of us from our seafood and had been here from Rhode Island so that was cool to find out,” Vicki Cotton said.

With the Colonial Café officially being opened for business, Vicki Cotton looks ahead to the future of the place.

“We just really want to keep on going with what we’re doing. It’s really great to be known. We have great customers, the staff is great, it’s so overwhelming to know that is so much support. We are here because of the customers,” she said.
Vicki Cotton also had a message for all the residents.

She said, “Come on in and join us, try the place out. Stop in and check it out.”

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