Bronte Bistro gets a makeover at Rookwood Commons

Coffee and a good book go hand-in-hand, but what about a good book and lunch? Joseph-Beth Booksellers at Rookwood Commons recently remodeled its full-service restaurant, Brontë Bistro, to better serve its customers.
 
Joseph-Beth opened at Rookwood Commons in 1986. At the time, the Bistro was a smaller component, and was added on to in the early 1990s. But there haven’t been any significant changes to the Bistro—until now.
 
The remodel began on Jan. 7, and was 99 percent complete as of Wednesday. The entire restaurant was gutted and remodeled, from the kitchen—where new equipment was put in, including a grill—to the front of the house—where there is now a coffee kiosk for customers on-the-go. Before renovations, the only entrance to the Bistro was through the bookstore; now, there’s a front entrance that is accessible from the parking lot.
 
“The remodel really adds more offerings to our customer base,” says Joseph-Beth Booksellers’ CEO Mark Wilson. “Our goal is to create an experience for our customers. We want them to find a place where they can broaden their perspective and deepen their thinking, and the bookstore and Bistro provide that now with a nicer ambiance.”
 
The Bistro’s menu isn’t going to change much, but there will be a few new entrees available for dinner, says John Gains, general manager of the Bistro. In April, the Bistro will roll out a new dinner menu, which will include about two-thirds of the Bistro’s favorite lunch offerings, plus the new dinner offerings.
 
A meeting space was also created at the far end of the Bistro, complete with presentation screen that has the ability to house 50 people for business meetings and community events. There’s also a smaller part of the large meeting room that seats 20.

"With the remodel, we wanted to make seating more comfortable," says Gains. "Before, the dining room was loud, but we put in booths and put a wall up between the restaurant and the kitchen so people would be able to enjoy a meal and have a conversation."
 
By Caitlin Koenig
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