For more than fourth months, Babette “Babs” Klacik and her amazing staff and a myriad of volunteers at Bistro 163 have been keeping many local folks, especially seniors, fed throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. On Tuesday, the restaurant will be back in the business of lunches.
“We’ve been creating free carryout dinners on Tuesday through Saturday since March 18,” said Klacik. “It’s been quite an effort, and we have to thank the community, and the way they’ve supported us through it all.
“The donors and volunteers made it happen. We could not have served 22,500 meals over so many weeks.”
On Tuesday, Aug. 4, Bistro 163 will reopen its doors to the Ottawa County community in its original form as a “pay it forward” restaurant. Located inside the Sutton Center, at 1848 E Perry Street, Bistro 163 will return to its founding business model, working to increase food security and offering all neighbors a place to eat and come together as one community.
The community meals won’t go away any time soon, though. Starting Monday, Aug. 10, Bistro 163 will serve community meals on the second and fourth Sundays of every month. Bistro 163 will offer the twice a month community dinners take-out style at the glass door on the north side of the Sutton Center building.
Remember the original concept, which returns on Tuesday?
At Bistro 163, everyone is welcome to eat a meal. Patrons are encouraged to pay more than the suggested menu price, so that others may enjoy a meal. Those who are unable to pay are encouraged to give their time in return for service.
Fresh food is prepared from scratch, using locally sourced ingredients whenever possible. Meals are so good that Bistro 163 received a 5-Star Rating from the Toledo Blade.
As Bistro 163 reopens, all CDC considerations for the safe operation of a restaurant will be observed. In collaboration with the Ottawa County Health Department, reduced seating will be available inside the restaurant, and reservations will be available only for small groups of six diners or less. Patrons may call in their orders for pickup, and outdoor dining will be available, weather permitting. Staff and volunteers will wear face coverings and gloves, and temperature checks will be made before inside seating.
Bistro 163 will be open five days a week, Tuesday through Saturday, serving lunch from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m.
Klacik said the “Feed the Need” community dinners inspired a groundswell of generosity within the community, from donors, volunteers, and staff, and all of whom contributed to feed people impacted by the pandemic and the employment crisis.
Bistro 163 benefitted from the generous support of Sutton Property Leasing, Portage Resale Center, Ottawa County Community Foundation, Harry B. Stensen Memorial Trust, the COVID-19 Response Fund of the Greater Toledo Community Foundation, Huntington Bank, Port Clinton Rotary, and literally hundreds of individual financial contributors, churches and organizations.
“Together, we have made a difference in our community!” said Klacik.
For more information about Bistro 163, or to become a bistro volunteer, call 419-734-9887 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Donate on its web site, www.bistro163.org, using the “donate” button.