When Mike and I started telling people we were going to open a restaurant, they smiled and said “How nice” or “It’s good to have dreams guys” or “You’re going to drop out of college to do what?!” Plenty of people talk about opening a restaurant. I’m sure that’s why no one really took us seriously. Few, however actually follow through. This was our fuel. We decided that we were going to do it, not just talk about it.
So we both quit our jobs and I dropped out of college. The time was now. If we delayed, we wouldn’t follow through. We had to abandon everything else and pour our hearts into our dream. We set out on an adventure that would test every bit of our collective will to succeed.
Our vision was to create a community gathering place in the heart of downtown Lakeland- a place of fellowship, art, culture, music and of course, fantastic gourmet foods and specialty coffees.
I don’t think we ever really knew what we had gotten ourselves into. It took over a year and a half from the first idea to opening day. There were construction delays, permit delays, contract negotiations, building code issues, and on top of that, I was facing a possible second tour in Iraq. But we found inspiration everywhere- From the beautiful 103-year-old brick wall that was covered by layer after layer of plaster, to the original red oak floors that had suffered terrible water damage. All we saw was enormous potential and beauty.
Now here we are. Every day a new adventure, new challenges, and fantastic potential- all fueled by a passion to serve the community we grew up in. Thank you for being a part of our history.
Chris & Mike