Nifty Nibble Flooded with Changes

By Brandon Labecki, Current Staff

The Nifty Nibble, the campus restaurant at the West Bend High Schools, has had dramatic changes since being flooded twice due to problems in a bathroom across the hall.

The restaurant was first flooded in late 2020, along with the next-door classroom of culinary teacher Sally Heuer. This was due to a corroded and plugged plumbing pipe below the restroom. At that time, the classroom’s drywall was remodeled and the carpet was removed. A larger remodeling process was discussed, but those plans were for after the school year.

In early 2021, though, a second flooding happened. 

Without the carpeted floor to stop the water, the flood created much more damage. Serious work was done to fix the issue within both the restaurant and the bathroom.

Maintenance manager Alan Sternig says the corroded pipe was removed and replaced with PVC pipes as well as a renewed ceiling and floor.

“That resolved the problem 100 percent,” Sternig said.

“If they were going to put all sorts of money into a remodel, they didn’t want (flooding) to happen again,” Heuer said. 

Culinary teacher Sally Heuer works the register Wednesday inside the Nifty Nibble. Photo by Brandon Labecki, Current Staff.

Changes within the restaurant were both large and small.

“It’s kind of a snowball effect,” Heuer said. “If you’re going to really do it right, then you have to make sure you are abiding by any updated codes.”

A handwashing station at the front was provided as well as updates on the fryer, the grill, ventilation, lighting and counters. 

New fabrics within the restaurant were also provided, using antibacterial fabrics to counter the effects of COVID-19.

Changes to recipes or additions to the menu were recent, but nothing new in the history of the Nifty. Notable add ons to the menu would be the crispy chicken sandwich and the tender baskets. 

Culinary 2 students check the menu at the beginning of every school year to see what they could improve, change or add, and although there are no current public surveys, culinary students do ask around the school for advice from friends and other students. 

The Nifty Nibble is open periods three, four and five. Most students order ahead of time rather than during the hour they want to eat, which can be done by stopping in or by emailing Heuer.

If ordering through email, look for Heuer’s confirmation. 

“If you don’t get a ‘got it’ then I didn’t get it in time,” Heuer said. 

Further changes to the space of the restaurant, like lighting, were carried out by students in order to have a calming atmosphere where high schoolers could study or relax as well as eat.

Other restaurant inclusions are the Burger of the Week, with Thursday specials being headed by a few culinary students who wanted to make them lighter than other specials.  

“Baked goods, salads, sliders, that kind of thing,” West senior Jack Steele said. 

The average meal price typically is around six dollars.

(Photos by Brandon Labecki, Current Staff.)

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