Posted Sep 27, 2022
Flat & Point, a GCM Vendor, has exciting news to share about their future. They have reimagined their restaurant and are now operating under the name Dorothy's Bistro. While their offerings at Green City Market Lincoln Park and West Loop will remain the same, we are very excited about the changes they are making to their business. Keep reading to learn more about Dorothy's Bistro from owners Brian & Taylor Bruns.
Flat & Point started as a pop-up on Fullerton Beach in 2017 serving elevated pork belly and brisket tacos and sliders. We quickly outgrew that small space, and began looking for a full brick and mortar to expand our business into a restaurant. Two years later we landed in Logan Square. At that time our concept was not entirely clear. We had big ideas of serving elevated smoked food, that touched on regional cuisines, using a variety of cooking techniques that would create a special experience for anyone who decided to dine with us. Shortly after opening, we fell into a groove that aligned Brian’s culinary passions and family recipes. It quickly became apparent that the restaurant had outgrown the name that got them started.
Through multiple pivots due to Covid, dine-in restrictions, and theme changes, one thing stayed true over the past four years - the alpine inspired smokehouse had finally revealed itself as the passion project that we put so much time and love into. We are always asking what is next for our restaurant, and even bigger our business. Amid all the closures, the bakery started to take its own form. Covid closed a lot of doors for us, but it also helped us find and open new ones. The bakery arm of our business is just that. We looked outside of the four walls of our brick and mortar to start the bakery, and we found local farmers markets. We were lucky enough to be accepted into the Green City Farmers Market, which has allowed us to test our bakery products and the sustainability of what we offer.
After slowly dancing around a name that is so closely tied to BBQ, we have decided to part ways with the name Flat & Point, and embrace our new name: Dorothy's Bistro. We believe this name better embodies the true heart and soul of our restaurant, and our future bakery.
The name was chosen because without Dorothy O'Leary, Brian's grandma, he would have never become a chef. As a young child, Brian spent time freely doing anything he wanted in his grandma’s kitchen - she encouraged creativity. The confidence she instilled in him as a young child, stayed with and led to future interests in culinary arts. A core memory for Brian is going to his grandma's house after his half-day in preschool. He would slide a wooden chair up to the counter of her Formica counter tops. He remembers grabbing a bag of flour, all the spices from her spice draw, spoons, whisks, ketchup, and a large mixing bowl. Brian’s own account of this memory is why he is here right now:
“I remember looking over my shoulder and seeing my grandma standing close enough making sure nothing would go wrong, but she never gave me any direction on what to do. She let me mix whatever I wanted, make as big of a mess as I wanted, and have fun. It was pure joy for me. Shortly after I would jump off the chair, exhausted, and be carted off to take a nap. When I woke up, there was always a plate of cookies or brownies on the counter top (which was meticulously clean), and everything was put back where it came from. She always let me believe I made those cookies or brownies from my "recipe" and those things made everyone around us happy, which I loved. Dorothy created what is my safest place - the kitchen. It allows me to be creative, to be free, and to make something for others that makes them smile.”
Due to this very real influence on Brian, we are reopening in the same space, at the corner of Fullerton and Drake, as a casual counter-service dinner spot, named Dorothy's Bistro.
No time fits an alpine smokehouse quite like fall, which happens to be the perfect time for us to reopen. The menu is intended to showcase a creative midwestern take on alpine inspired food. The menu is going to be small, rotate often, be approachable and interesting. You can expect to see classic dishes, like: House-made pastas, wood-fired vegetable dishes, fresh made sourdough bread, a developing pastry menu, and our star: Choucroute Garnie (which will feature a slab of porchetta to start). There will be a small beverage menu, focusing on natural wines and local beers.
Looking towards the future, we are hoping to open Dorothy's Bakery and Bagel Shop. We have found great success in selling bagels at the farmers markets, and look forward to growing that. Until we find a brick and mortar, the bakery arm will produce breads for the restaurant, and you will be able to find our baked items at Green City Farmers Market (year-round) and other pop-ups around the city as the team searches for a home for the bakery.
As the restaurant industry continues to change and shift, we want to make sure that we are staying relevant and meeting our customer's needs, and hopefully exceeding their expectations. With this, we are shifting to a counter-service, walk-in only concept. We want our neighborhood restaurant to be open to our customers to spontaneously pop-in and enjoy a casual and comforting dinner with friends and family.
We are hoping to reopen the first week of October, please stay tuned to our Instagram for that official announcement.
You can find more information about us at Dorothyschicago.com.