Monday, April 26, 2010

Fountain Bistro Coming to Campus Martius

Remember when Au Bon Pain in Campus Martius closed and they said that an American bistro would be opening in its place sometime in the summer and I was all, "Yeah, that'll be the day that actually happens..."? Well, it's happening.

What I didn't know at the time was that John Lambrecht, owner/partner of Bookie's Bar & Grille, had already acquired the space and was moving forward with these plans. His track record with bringing Bookie's Tavern on Washington Ave. from a decidedly non-glossy neighborhood bar to an impressive three-story Bar & Grille on Cass Ave. with a 60-foot projection screen, a spacious outdoor rooftop patio, and a whole floor for private parties and VIPs should give the public some faith in his new venture. Announced today: Fountain Bistro. Read on, wayward sons.

The Detroit 300 Conservancy announced today a new casual dining concept, Fountain Bistro at Campus Martius Park, to open this May in the Park. Fountain Bistro is owned and operated by John Lambrecht and will offer breakfast, lunch and dinner in an atmosphere that blends the charm of a classic European café with modern American style.

“For the past two years John Lambrecht has managed concessions for Campus Martius Park during The Rink season as well as major events, giving him insight into the Park’s daily operations,” said Robert Gregory, Detroit 300 Conservancy President. A downtown entrepreneur, Lambrecht is owner/partner of the successful Bookies Bar and Grille in Detroit’s growing Entertainment District. “This experience, combined with his enthusiasm, keen sense of marketing, and understanding of the role of food and beverage will contribute to our visitor’s experience in the Park.

“Fountain Bistro At Campus Martius Park is going be a terrific addition to the Park,” Gregory continued. “I feel the concept that’s been developed for this bistro will be comparable to the cafés in top ranked parks and plazas in the U.S. and abroad.”

Lambrecht said “Fountain Bistro will feature a casual, but diverse menu, the convenience of carryout with the option for full service dining inside and on the outdoor patio, and upgrades such as a new color scheme and more comfortable furniture”. The bistro will be open year-round for special events and programs hosted by Campus Martius Park.

“We are making changes to the former cafe space that will make carryout more convenient for people who are in a hurry, and provide those who have more time with an enjoyable full service dining experience,” said Lambrecht. “Additionally, we hosted a focus group about the menu that gave us great insight into the kinds of menu items Detroiters want from our bistro. It’s an extra step that will go a long way toward making our establishment a welcome addition to an already dynamic park.”