River Tyme Bistro

The Best “Dam” Bistro

by Jamie LaFreniere


River Tyme Bistro
425 W Water St, Appleton, WI 54911

Opening a restaurant is a difficult endeavor for anyone. Now imagine opening during a global pandemic! That’s exactly what Christine Williams and Candice Mortara managed this summer with River Tyme Bistro. Located in the historic Atlas Mill on the Fox River, River Tyme Bistro features an eclectic menu and a fantastic view.

“We’ve never started a restaurant during any other time, so we’re not sure how else to do it,” says Christine.

In one way, the shutdown helped them with renovations which began in November. “Our contractors had even more availability,” says Christine. “We moved the entire kitchen from the east wall to the back and made a large event space to accommodate 120 people.”

The original brick, new wood floors, and wall of windows overlooking the river give this space a polished, chic look with plenty of natural light. They have beautiful tables from Appleton’s Urban Evolutions and a patio which allows nine tables for socially-distanced, outdoor seating right on the water. They are open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Christine and Candice have known each other for ten years and own Fox River Tours together. “We met working at Fox Wisconsin Heritage Parkways and we were on the board together. Candice approached the board to buy a river boat, and they decided not to do it, so we did it on our own.”

Fox River Tours is also taking a hit during COVID times, but with a delayed start to the season, less passengers, and less cruises, they are still able to do a bit this summer. “We are lucky to use a lot of our same employees, so some of our people have been with us for five years,” says Christine. “We have cooks who are Fox Valley Tech students or graduates and they are eager to please and looking for ways to improve all they do.”

The menu is titled Ports of Call and features meals from around the globe. “What’s really popular is people buying lots of things and then sharing with their table. We also have a full coffee bar with baristas during the day and a bar with bartenders at night.”

River Tyme has a full bakery with items made in-house, including cookies, muffins, scones, apple crisp and more. They also get bagels from local shop Bagelicious.

Salads include Salade Nicoise or Plum Wonton. Sandwiches are Porketta or grilled cheese, with PB&J for kids. Selections from their Ports of Call menu include a Mezze platter, chorizo queso, Jamaican hand pies, and potato wedges. You can also enjoy their weekly specials with Monday’s taco dinner, Thursday’s lasagna, Friday’s BBQ chicken, Saturday’s sloppy joes, and Sunday’s pot roast.

They are closed on Tuesday and Wednesday, but open from 10am-8pm on Sunday and 10-10 every other day.