BRENDA RETURNS TO NEWPORT
DERBY – After three and a half years, Brenda LePage, owner of Brenda’s Restaurant, is moving her business from the Derby Road in Derby to Main Street in Newport City.LePage opened Brenda’s after a 15 year hiatus in the restaurant business. For 10 years, she owned LePage’s, a popular breakfast and lunch spot, in Newport. This time, LePage is moving to the site of the former Junior’s Restaurant, which is down the street from her old stomping grounds. LePage didn’t want to move to her former Newport location, even though it's vacant, because it was too expensive to maintain.There is a month’s worth of work that LePage needs to complete before opening the doors on Main Street. In the meantime, she will continue her Meals on Wheels efforts at the American Legion in Newport. The Derby Elks Club also offered LePage kitchen space for the Meals on Wheels Program. LePage opted to cook at the American Legion because she is more familiar with the kitchen. She will continue those efforts at her new location.Brenda’s Restaurant's last service in Derby will be tonight.The seating in her new location is less than half of what she has now.“I want to down size,” said. “I would like to get back to doing what I used to do when I was on Main Street.”Once on Main Street, LePage will no longer be open for dinner. She will also offer grab-and-go food like coffee, bagels, donuts and muffins. Brenda's will serve breakfast and lunch six days a week and breakfast only on Sunday. During her break in the restaurant business, LePage worked in property management in Bonita Springs, FL. She returned to Vermont when her father became ill. LePage said she can’t stop working.“I worked all my life,” she said. “I have the energy.”LePage remains in the restaurant business so she can interact with people, which will be much easier at her new location with its partially open kitchen, something the Derby location doesn’t have.LePage hopes her cooking improved since she first graced downtown Newport. She likes to make as much as possible from scratch. This includes breads and soups. LePage has been considering the move for a couple of months. “I was working about 100 hours a week here and it is hard to stop,” she said.