On February 20, 2019 Nikki Kaelber opened Laura’s Family Restaurant on what would have been her mother, Laura’s, 53rd birthday. Laura, and her husband Ken Hallett, owned and operated Southside Café, on Route 9 in Poughkeepsie, NY, for over 27 years. Laura’s now occupies the same space where Southside stood for so long as a community staple.
Southside was always a big part of Nikki’s life. She worked there for eight years as a server and bartender. Even when not working she spent a significant amount of time there because the restaurant was a “central hub” of sorts for her family. In October of 2015 Nikki’s mom, Laura, passed away suddenly from a brain aneurysm at 49 years old. Her step-father continued to run Southside until July of 2017 when he passed away unexpectedly at 57 during a routine medical procedure.