I am very sad to announce the closing of bread&cup. Our last service will be brunch this Sunday, December 10, 2017.
It has been more than a labor of love over the last 10 years. Its been our lifestyle and our identity. I was reluctant and uncomfortable to be called chef when we first started. Little did I know how this endeavor would shape my life, may family and countless guests. These are dividends that are intangible, but ever so real and meaningful.
I often referred to bread&cup as the Little Restaurant That Could. We were an unknown startup on an obscure corner on a dark, dead end street. She endured that first winter, and with that first spring came a rush of new guests. It was easy to spot a first-time visitor by watching their eyes as they walked in the door. They would read the quote above the kitchen and smile. I wish I had kept count, but the most common statement people made was, “I don’t feel like I’m in Lincoln here.” I knew what they meant. We had brought something new to the marketplace and it was being enjoyed.
But times change, as should be expected, and the metamorphosis of the Haymarket began evolving from a quiet little neighborhood to a full-scale entertainment district. We slowly observed the change of dining habits, moving away from our slow food concept to a need for a faster product to keep up with the speed of the events. We adjusted, tweaking our menu and adding a weekend brunch service, but ultimately it wasn’t enough to meet the customer demand.
There also came barriers to access. Ease of getting to and from the Haymarket became more difficult. In the early days, a patron didn’t have to think twice about dining at bread&cup. Park on the street by the front door and never have to worry about multiple events or traffic. Many long-time guests tell me they have limited their visits to the Haymarket for just these reasons.
bread&cup would not be have gotten to this point without some very special people involved.
I thank Karen Shinn, my wife and partner in hospitality. This little dream would have not been the same without her warmth and presence. Her pioneer spirit fought through the lean times and the happy ones. Many told me they came in primarily to see her and that the food was a bonus.
I thank Kerry Knight and Chris Emerson, two life-long friends that believed in the vision of creating a place of hospitality, a hub of conversation and connection from the very beginning. bread&cup would not have been a reality without their faith and trust.
I thank Nick Cusick for his guidance and direction through the last year. I’ve learned so much from him in the last 12 months. I am deeply grateful for all his work.
I thank the many staff members who were more than employees. They became part of our family.
And I must add thanks to all who dined with us and put your feet under our table. Thanks to our local farmers who brought us their chickens, egg, vegetables and flowers. Thanks to our local craft brewers that enabled us to exclusively serve Nebraska craft beer.
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens. And while this was a very good season, Karen and I believe something greater awaits. The best is yet to come. And we will watch it unfold.