We like food, we like people, and we like our planet. We thought it would be a great idea to combine all those interests in our restaurant -- why not make tasty and interesting food, that's also grown responsibly? Better food that's better for people and better for the Earth! Food with integrity. Fresh food from close to home is better than old food from far away. Why? Because it doesn't have to be engineered "shelf-stable" to spend a week being shipped from Chile. Because a short trip from field to market uses less fossil fuel. Because we can shake hands with the farmer and ask "How was this raised?" Because we don't need pre-made processed foods full of preservatives and a laundry-list of chemical additives; we can assemble all the required ingredients on a plate right here in our kitchen. Because it supports local businesses, folks who pay their taxes and spend their dollars right here. Because the shortest trip from farm to table means food that is at the peak of freshness and flavor. While we will use some non-local products, our focus will be on featuring a variety of local foods, grown sustainably, raised and processed responsibly.
We love a variety of foods … at home, we make our own bacon and brew our own beer. But we think everybody should get to have good and interesting food when they go out to eat. So our vegetarian and gluten-free friends won't be relegated to side-dishes of rice or steamed broccoli, they will get some entree selections of their very own.
We've been looking for a place to put this restaurant for two years now. Almost every venue we've considered has been in Downtown Saginaw. We love our hometown, and we think it could use more good, local restaurants (we're big fans of the ones that are already here; the more, the merrier). We want to contribute to bringing a sense of community back to downtown, and to help preserve interesting old buildings with some character and style. So here we are, renovating the site of the former Cafe Char-La on Federal. There's a lot going on here in Downtown Saginaw these days, and we want to be part of it. When you come down for a night at the symphony, a Spirit hockey game, or a concert at the new amphitheater, we want to be part of your evening out on the town.
Help us get cooking … we can't wait to see you here!
Two sample menus are posted on our website: http://www.bradleysbistro.com/#!menu/cee5
(p.s. Any additional funds will go toward our Liquor License … our next project after we open!)
Risks and challenges
Renovating an old building is a lot more challenging than moving into a strip mall. And more rewarding. It's recycling at its best -- it has charm, it has history, it has … nothing usable. So here we are, tearing out everything right down to the floor joists (and even some of those), and building an entirely new space within the beautiful 100-year-old brick walls. After a year of work, we are finally nearing completion on the construction phase of our project, and we are nearly ready to launch the actual restaurant.
Once construction is complete, our challenge will be to build and maintain a clientele that will support our business. This means sharing our food philosophy, keeping ourselves and our staff educated about the products we use, and enthusiastically offering that knowledge to our patrons. In this way, we hope to build a community of diners who care about their food and where it came from, creating a healthier community, a healthier planet, and a healthy business.
- (21 days)