The Little Café That Could

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Taste of the Town: The Historic Colton Cafe
Written by Dennis McNabb, Staff Writer | Photos by Andrew Sambuceto

If you’re looking for some amazing down-home cooking and top-notch entertainment, it’s absolutely worth your time and effort to turn around, head back into town, and locate the Historic Colton Café.

Established in 1950 under the original moniker, The Rainbow Malt Shop, this rustic little gem has been a local draw for almost 75 years! Like any operation with that kind of longevity, they’ve had their ups and downs, changed names and changed ownership, but they’ve persevered. In 2021, the most recent owner, Nora Nofziger, took over, and the “little café that could” has flourished ever since. Nora has injected the place with a fresh dose of enthusiasm, and a can-do attitude that has brought back a lot of older regulars along with a swarm of new ones.

The food is still the same amazing home-style cuisine that you’ve come to expect. Everything is fresh, delicious and made from scratch. This is honest, stick-to-your-ribs comfort food that you just can’t find in too many places anymore. Smash burgers and hand-dipped fish and chips are local favorites, as are their real hot fudge sundaes and elephant ears. Nora is also proud to have brought back the incredible malts and shakes (made with real ice cream!) the place was once known for.

More importantly, Nora has infused the café with a warm and inclusive atmosphere where everyone should feel welcome. It’s a family establishment, a community gathering spot. Nora is so grateful for the support of the community that for the second year in a row she has developed and produced The Cool Summer Events program, free to the public! By the time you read this, a few of the shows will have already come and gone, but don’t fret, there’s more.

“Friday Night Live” will bring live music to the café on Friday nights. Still coming on Aug. 4 will be Trent Beaver Unplugged, and on Aug. 18, Wood-N-Steel. Both shows will be from 7 to 10 p.m. On Aug. 12, Timothy James will be playing from 5 to 7 p.m., followed by The Shred playing 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. On Sept. 2, Nora is welcoming Mark Seymour & Friends from 5 to 7 p.m., and Fortunate Son (a CCR Tribute Band) from 7:30 to 10 p.m. Again, these are free shows and word has gotten out. So come early, have some delicious food and drinks (they have beer, wine, and a full bar), bring your most comfortable lawn chairs and join the festivities!

Last, but certainly not least, Nora, with help from her husband, Mark, will be bringing their inaugural Oktoberfest to Colton on Sept. 30 from 4 to 7:30 p.m. This is a significant event, with real German beer, brats, polka dancing, fun contests, The Oom-Pah Band and more. This will be the can’t-miss event of the year! So, be sure to get out your lederhosen and your steins, and come down to The Historic Colton Café for the best party of the year!

The Historic Colton Cafe is located 21038 S. Highway 211 in Colton. Give them a ring at 503-824-5111.