Local eclectic eatery opens in Newberry

Customers steadily streamed into Capricious in the first two days of its soft opening.
Customers steadily streamed into Capricious in the first two days of its soft opening.
Photo by Glory Reitz

On the first day of a new year, Christa Rummel opened the doors of a new restaurant in downtown Newberry: Capricious. The new eatery is a blend of art and family history that Rummel said she hopes will become a gathering place for the community. 

“I wanted to open a place where everybody would come together,” Rummel said in an interview, “and they can experience each other and make new friends that maybe live down the street that they’ve never met, and have that kind of experience here.” 

Rummel grew up in Newberry, and she says many of the people she knew in high school are dead from drug problems. She blames those deaths on a lack of a “third place,” a sociology concept of social surroundings separate from home and work environments. 

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After about 20 years working in the restaurant industry, Rummel heard that Country Kitchen was closing, and its space (located at 25335 W. Newberry Rd.) would be up for sale. She said that the restaurant had become a staple for the town, and she jumped at the opportunity to fill the space with a new eatery that still brings the community together. 

The long counter at Capricious sits in front of books taken from Rummel's grandparents' library.
Photo by Glory Reitz The long counter at Capricious sits in front of books taken from Rummel’s grandparents’ library.

“Every person I’ve met, every job I’ve worked up until now has made this happen,” Rummel said. 

Before Capricious could serve as a gathering place, though, Rummel said the community first gathered around her to support the dream as it became a reality. She said she battled self-doubt throughout the process, but all the way the Newberry community has encouraged her and helped connect her with contractors and other help. 

Every color and design choice of the restaurant was carefully selected, Rummel said, though most of the design came to her in a flash of inspiration. She said she woke up one night and sketched the entire layout, resulting in an array of long tables, booths and counters, with an artist’s gallery on a wall and Rummel’s grandparents’ library behind the main bar counter. 

Rummel said the building is 120 years old and she wanted to show that with a “classic” look, while bringing a clean, modern edge with bright colors. She chose blue and gold, a nod both to her grandfather’s time in the Navy and to the Newberry Panthers. 

Rummel also pulled inspiration from English pubs, because of their connotations as gathering places. 

The eatery’s name means impulsive or unpredictable, and while its creation was anything but impulsive, Rummel described her menu as “eclectic.” She said she learned to cook in high school, and many of her friends were international students, for whom she would make dishes from home on their birthdays. 

The Capricious menu.
Photo by Glory Reitz The Capricious menu.

Rummel said she reached out to friends again when she was creating a menu for Capricious. She asked them what they would be upset not to see, and their responses turned into the current 24-item menu, ranging from cauliflower bites to kimchi ribs to the portabella burger. 

That menu will likely shift, Rummel said. Her goal is to have one staple menu and one that changes seasonally, basing many choices on what local produce is available. She also worked to include flavorful, healthy foods: having studied nutrition, she wanted to show people they can eat healthy food and enjoy it. 

“It’s this community’s. It’s not mine,” Rummel said. 

The eatery had a soft opening on the first two days of this week, closed Wednesday, and reopened for Thursday and Friday before assuming regular hours next week: 4-8:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 4-9 p.m. Friday-Saturday (closed on Sundays).

Rummel said many people have asked her about a grand opening, but that is not on her immediate horizon. She may hold a grand opening on the restaurant’s one-year anniversary, after she has had time to hear feedback from customers and adjust accordingly to “make it be theirs.” 

“I just want it to be open,” Rummel said. 

Capricious opened in downtown Newberry just in time for a new year.
Photo by Glory Reitz Capricious opened in downtown Newberry just in time for a new year.

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Great news! I’m looking forward to checking this place out. The back story is really nice and Newberry is getting to be such a great town to spend time in.


Where is the menu for the restaurant?

C.J. Gish

Hi Linda. I am adding a photo to the story of the menu.


Sounds fantastic and will be well received! Look forward to going and enjoying good food, meeting more in our community and the well thought out space


Where in Newberry is the restaurant located?

C.J. Gish

25335 W. Newberry Rd.


Thanks for this in depth reporting! Could you please give coordinates to the location of this eatery! Although I’ve lived here in the Gainesville area since 2005, I’ve not eaten in Newberry, so therefore I’m not familiar with this area!


Congratulations to Christa Rummel and Newberry on the opening of CAPRICIOUS……..Wishing you success!


I find that hard to believe! 990 %of my classmates are alive and well. A few have died of natural causes or car accidents!! Drugs were not an issue! 40 yrs. Class of 1984.

Charles Smith

Hi Christa, my wife and I are looking forward in meeting you and trying out your restaurant soon. We recently moved here from Alachua, High Springs area eleven years ago and look forward to all of the new businesses popping up all over Newberry, Fl. It’s a lot like the area we moved from with this town starting to grow, like yourself, I roam a business owner Total Bodyworks Professional Fitness Trainer that’s looking to grow my business too. Chuck

Greg Waitcus

Good to hear about the opening of a new restaurant. Any chance of it opening during lunch time?


Noted that the story does not mention that this is a vegan restaurant. Don’t know how well it will do but there are many new outsiders moving in so time will tell.


Check the menu above; some tasty sounding smash burgers, pork tacos, ribs, even chicken tenders for the bland palate.