The owners of Sullivan’s Restaurant in Wauseon will expand their territory with a new business down the street that will cater to a different crowd and add almost two dozen jobs to the local economy.
Sully’s Bakery and Bistro will open in mid- to late September at 206 N. Fulton St., the site previously occupied by The Upper Crust restaurant. Sully’s co-owner Brian Roth said the menu will complement, without competing with, that of Sullivan’s Restaurant, owned by him and Scott Sullivan.
Selections at the moderately-priced bistro will include 8-10 specialty breakfast items, deli style specialty sandwiches for lunch, soups, salads, side dishes, and a full-line bakery. There will also be the deliberate omission of one standard piece of restaurant equipment: the deep fryer.
“There’s no deep fryer, and I’m very grateful for that,” Roth said. “To me, it’s a healthier choice menu. And there are many people that are seeking that out today.” He said the bakery’s doughnuts will be baked.
“The sandwiches will be unlike anything else you can get locally,” he added. “And it’s safe to say we’ll bake anything to order.”
For both breakfast and lunch, the bistro will accommodate patrons’ requests to change aspects of their orders. All menu items will be available any time.
Roth said he and Sullivan anticipate that 40 percent of the business will be “grab and go” rather than a sit-down meal, “which is what this market is really streaming for. We want to address that part of the market.”
By year’s end, the 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. hours of operation will expand to an open kitchen until 9 p.m., with the addition of a dinner menu.
“We’re going to limit the hours until we get really good at the breakfast, lunch, and the bakery side of it. We’re pretty confident that will be the best way to attack the new operation,” Roth said.
The first phase of the business will employ 10 people. When the hours expand later this year the staff will grow to 20 people. But Roth said the hiring process has closed, since 40 applications were received after he and Sullivan advertised for help.
“We’re pleased with the response of potential workers, and very excited,” he said.
They bought the building June 29, after The Upper Crust owner Toni Britton-Harmon permanently closed shop in the spring. Roth said the purchase was somewhat self-defensive, a move to prevent a competitor from potentially hurting current operations.
“We thought it was too good an opportunity to pass up,” he said. “It’s a logical succession, and we hope to grow additional locations to the Sullivan’s group of restaurants.”
Britton-Harmon did “an incredible job” of renovating the building, Roth said. “It’s a beautiful facility. It’s world-class equipment and first-class rehabilitation of a downtown building. That’s important to us. We’re very committed to seeing the continued growth of downtown Wauseon.”
Matt Gilroy, executive director of the Fulton County Economic Development Corporation, said the organization welcomes a new downtown business.
“That building is a very nice structure and the atmosphere is welcoming,” he said. “It’s always great to see a building in the downtown area filled with employees and customers. We wish the ownership of the bistro success in their new endeavor.”
Sully’s Bakery and Bistro will open six days each week, and Roth said if Sunday hours are ever considered it would be at an unknown future date.
“I think Sully’s is a concept that’s going to work,” he said.
Reach David J. Coehrs at 419-335-2010.