BLOOMINGTON — A highly anticipated addition to downtown Bloomington's restaurant scene is set to open in about two weeks.
Bakery and Pickle, 513 N. Main St., opens Sept. 5 as a modern take on a Prohibition-era speakeasy. It is owned by Epiphany Farms Hospitality Group, which also has Epiphany Farms Restaurant and Anju Above in Bloomington; Old Bank Restaurant & Bar, LeRoy; and is planning a Korean barbecue restaurant in Bloomington.
Bakery and Pickle is the group's fourth farm-to-fork restaurant in McLean County, with all of its kitchens stocked with produce harvested from the company's 100 acres of farmland in Downs and Bloomington.
"It's designed to be something completely different," said Ken Myszka, co-owner and director of operations for EFHG.
Housed in a historic space, guests will enter a marketplace filled with baked goods made on-site daily and a variety of pickles. Push beyond that — using a password provided when you make online reservations — and guests will find a secret supper club. The $35 per person tab (excluding taxes, tip and extra libations) includes a non-alcoholic cocktail; a chef pintxos (snacks) bar; a salad; seasonal flatbread; seasonal vegetables; and choice of chicken, trout or local prime beef. It's served family style, with a dessert shared by the table.
Specialties, including oysters on the half shell, steak tartare, charcuterie, shrimp cocktail, a cheese board and pickles/relishes and other desserts can be purchased at an extra cost.
"The experience" can take up to an hour and 45 minutes, said Myszka. To preserve the surprise, the owners are limiting photography of the supper club until its formal opening.
“This restaurant fills a gap in EFHG with two unique dining experiences — enjoy a boisterous supper club-style meal or slide in late night for our favorite guilty pleasures and a craft cocktail," said chef and co-owner Stu Hummel. "Both options are my favorite way to dine … trust that we will blanket you with a good time.
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"Fruits de mer, oysters, caviar, killer flatbreads, the best burger you’ve ever had topped with foie gras and a madeira reduction — these are all the things I would want to eat on a night out on the town," he added.
The restaurant will serve dinner 5 to 9 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday and 4-8 p.m. Sunday. A late-night a la carte menu is available from 9 p.m. to midnight Wednesday-Saturday.
Resident pianist Brian Feldkamp will perform nightly.
The bar features scratch-made chef-driven specialty cocktails influenced by Prohibition-era offerings.
“This isn’t your everyday speakeasy that only serves libations mixed strictly by classical standards; this is something much more. This is Epiphany Farms does Prohibition,” said Greg Miesch, a former sommelier and principal mixologist at Fion Wine and Spirits in Chicago. He curates the EFHG beverage program.
The restaurant is expected to add 35 to 40 employees bringing EFHG's roster of employees to 200.
"We're extremely invested in the historic downtown Bloomington area," said Myszka. "Our goal is to be here the next four or five decades and make sure that Bloomington becomes prosperous and has an amazing, cool, professional and respectful community."
For reservations, visit https://www.exploretock.com/bakeryandpickle.