by Tara Morgan
The Brick Oven Beanery opened in its original location at Fifth and Main streets in 1984. After five years dishing up home-cooked comfort food in the spot where Addie’s currently resides, the business outgrew the space and decided to move to a larger location on The Grove.
“Gathering up our employees and 30 of our customers, we congregated in the parking lot of the old restaurant and blew up balloons, tied them to the restaurant chairs and took off down Main Street,” Brick Oven Bistro wrote on its Facebook page, recounting the Beanery's celebratory big move.
Though The Grove then was far from the cultural hub it is today, the Brick Oven Beanery/Bistro stuck it out to become one of the pillars of the now bustling plaza.
And now, after 28 years in business, Brick Oven Bistro announced that it will officially close its doors Sunday, Nov. 25, at 8:30 p.m.
“We’re ready to retire and we are going to write a cookbook. … It’s time everybody learned to cook on their own,” said owner Stephanie Telesco.
Telesco and her husband, Jeff Nee, decided to leave with fond memories, rather than selling the business to anyone else.
“I don’t want to wake up in two years in tears because somebody’s destroyed what we built up,” said Stephanie. “Jeff and I, we’re here 24/7; it’s our baby, so it’s time.”
Though the couple hadn’t planned to announce the closing until Wednesday, Oct. 31, word got out over the weekend. Telesco said she’s been receiving phone calls from guests every 15 minutes asking about it.
“It’s interesting, everybody has a different reaction, but everybody understands,” said Telesco. “They all know how hard we work.”
Telesco said that, as far as she knows, there aren't any new tenants slated to move into the space. A call to Oppenheimer Development Corporation for further information was unreturned as of press time.
The couple is currently assembling recipes from Brick Oven Beanery/Bistro that will be compiled into a cookbook, which will also include customer stories and memories.
“It’s going to take us a long time to source out our ingredients in the common world—in the world of grocery stores—and make the recipes so that they’re for six people,” Telesco explained.
Stories can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org and the cookbook will be available for purchase in 2013.