Bijou Garden Cafe Announces Reopening Date After Interior and Exterior Restoration

Good Bite

Photo courtesy of The Realm Restaurant Group

Bijou Garden Café recently announced a reopening date of Nov. 16 after being closed for three months due to renovations. In early 2021, Sharon Carole, owner of The Realm Restaurant Group, purchased Bijou Garden Café from owner and chef J.P. Knaggs. The original, iconic building was built in the 1920s and served as a gas station before transforming into a restaurant in 1986, and has remained a popular option for theatergoers and arts patrons for a pre-show meal downtown. 

Extensive renovations and restorations were made to the building in September—including the removal of several walls to create a more open space, the relocation and restoration of the classic bar, the addition of garden views from every table and bringing in a new baby grand piano, among other updates. Once open, the restaurant will feature some refreshed menu items as well. In addition to some of the classic favorites from the Bijou Garden Café’s previous menu, such as Shrimp Piri Piri, Escargot Bourguignonne and Potato Au Gratin, Christopher Covelli, executive chef at Bijou Garden Café, is implementing new menu items inspired by the garden with more greens, vegetarian and vegan options. “The menu has a French and Californian influence that will very much match the setting of the building,” says Covelli. “We used many of J.P. Knaggs’ original recipes and while they’ve changed over the years as different chefs have evolved them, we believe people will really enjoy the authenticity and comfort they bring.”

The restaurant seats 134 people with indoor and outdoor dining, and is open Tuesday through Thursday from 5pm - 10pm, and Friday through Saturday from 5pm - 11 pm. To make a reservation, visit BijouGardenCafe.com or call 941-366-8111. 

Photo courtesy of The Realm Restaurant Group

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