As we approach the end of the year, we also come to the end of an era as another longtime Riverside establishment — Grumpy’s — closed its doors on Dec. 24.
For David Moreau it means saying goodbye to a business that has meant much to many. It was an adult “hang-out” in the mornings as they grabbed their coffee on the way to work or where they met with others to solve the world’s problems. Later in the day the kids took over after their day at school, but there was much more to Grumpy’s. And here is some more of the story.
David Moreau came to work in Riverside after working many jobs — baking bread, landscape work, working for the railroad, working at the post office in Villa Park, and working at a newspaper.
But, for us, the most important was his time in Riverside, going back to the 1990s and his ice cream store, which was an extension of the Refectory Restaurant in the Arcade Building. He used Petersen’s ice cream, which had once had a small restaurant and ice cream shop in town. He remained in the Arcade Building for about 15 years before he was forced to move the business to East Burlington Street.
Grumpy’s on Burlington was, for me, a place where I could have a meeting. How many times the Friends of the Fourth meet there to make plans and decisions? How many times did I meet with people to interview them for an upcoming column? You almost never walked into the establishment without seeing someone you knew. Or, if there was someone there you didn’t know, you knew them when you walked out.
David was the person who when I first started doing “Koffee with Kosey” on RBTV, I asked if he could provide the bakery to go with the coffee for each show. He got some free publicity and a “Koffee with Kosey mug,” which he proudly showed me he still has.
He is the one who, after I wrote a column on refrigerator magnets, gave me a Grumpy’s magnet, also an official Grumpy’s stainless-steel commuter mug and — oh yes — an iron-on patch.
David will take the time and go East to visit his daughters and spend some time deciding what to do next, but I’m sure we will see him back around town. He said he will miss a lot of people and sends a heartfelt thanks for all who came to Grumpy’s.
We’ll miss you and your hot chocolate and thank you, Dave. When you get back we’ll talk over a cup of coffee — my treat.