Delivering the goods

At Cafe 100, Keith Simpkins is delivering good food, good drinks and good cheer to Bellevue's dining scene

When it comes to retirement, most people view it as a time to relax and spend their newfound free time pursuing their hobbies. For Keith Simpkins, he chose to take a different approach to his golden years and dove headfirst into launching a brand-new career by opening Café 100 in Bellevue.

“I was inspired to open Café 100 because I had a passion for cooking and I also wanted a place nearby where people can hang out, have a nice drink, and a great meal,” says Simpkins.

After Simpkins retired from his career in medical sales, he found himself reveling in having the extra time to be a restaurant patron and the community that he found with it— so much so that he eventually decided to open his own restaurant.

“Before I got into this business, I sold medical equipment and was in the business for a long time,” he explains. “Then I retired and went to a local place a few times and met a few people and started to really enjoy going to a neighborhood spot … I chose this place because I used to be a patron of the restaurant (Bria Bistro) that was here before I opened (Cafe 100) and just enjoyed coming and meeting new people and enjoying good food.”

His wife, Amy Marsalis, former WTVF Channel 5 news anchor, is supportive of her husband’s new path in life and even helps with the restaurant’s social media accounts.

Café 100 features a seasonally changing menu, along with occasional specials. No matter the season, Simpkins describes his rather upscale menu as “a nice variety of dishes made with lots of extra love and care.” Of these dishes, some of his personal favorites of the restaurant’s offerings include their fine cuts of meat and delectable sides. “My favorite items are the filet with those amazing, smashed potatoes and the tomahawk pork chop,” he shares. “That is absolutely perfect. It comes with mac and cheese that has this little kick. Amazing!”

The restaurant’s head chef Steven De Vellis is the master behind bringing these dishes to life. “Chef De Vellis came to Nashville a few years ago as the executive chef of Deacon’s New South and then was also the executive chef of E3 Chophouse,” explains Simpkins. “He has fallen in love with Nashville.”

De Vellis' new menu for fall includes Fritto Misto, a crispy fried calamari and banana peppers appetizer, served with basil aioli and pomodoro sauce. Spaghetti Alla Vodka includes whipped ricotta, pancetta, fine herbs, pecorino cheese and homemade pasta. There's also a new weekend brunch menu with egg white omelets and monkey bread with the chef's homemade biscuits and cinnamon glaze. All bakery items, including cakes and cookies, are made in-house daily.

Café 100’s décor is rooted in American heritage as well as history that is personal to Simpkins. “The vibe and feel is an American industrial feel,” he shares. “Our giant American flag draped my grandfather’s casket and as a veteran myself, I wanted to honor him. I have an incredible friend who is a big supporter who donated the other flags to go with our theme.”

At the end of the day, Simpkins hopes to create a spot in Bellevue where people can foster connection and community all while enjoying delicious food and drinks.

“I wanted to bring to a new place to Bellevue that was a little upscale, with good food, cold drinks, and lots of laughs and good times,” says Simpkins. “Our general manager, Margaret Torres, and Chef Steven have made this a dream-come-true and a reality. The best part has been the incredible community, the amazing support and all the love that we have received has just blown me away."


On Instagram @615Cafe100


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