Juliet's Place is bringing a passion for real food from around the world to Easton.
Bill Bachelder, of Wells, purchased what was formerly The Club in Easton and has spent the last couple of months transforming it into Juliet's Place.
"I've spent more than 20 years in the restaurant industry,"?Bachelder says. "And, I?truly believe in the art of actual cooking."
He was trained at Le Cordon Bleu in Mendota Heights and has cooked in a variety of settings around the state.
But, Bachelder was ready to cut the commute time and find his own niche serving people favorites with a twist.
He had heard a lot of people in the area ask about the status of The Club and that is when he decided to make it happen but reopening as Juliet's Place instead.
"I have a lunch menu and a dinner menu," Bachelder says.
The menus each contain a slightly different feel, which reflects the new decor inside the restaurant as well.
"This is going to be a place where you can come for drinks and appetizers, but also a place you can bring a date,"?Bachelder says. "I want to have a good balance between fine dining and casual eating."
It took a little more than a month for Bachelder and his wife, Juliet, who is the inspiration for the restaurant's name, to prepare for the opening.
Bachelder moved in new cooking equipment into the kitchen in order to bring it up to code.
"There were still a lot of wood counters and cabinets in the kitchen and I knew we needed to get stainless steel countertops and drawers in here," he says.
While he was working in the kitchen, Juliet was updating the decor in the dining room and bar.
"We still have a lot of work to do, but the decor was very 1970s so we wanted to change that to match the food I was serving as a French chef,"?he says. "I hold myself to a higher standard and I want this place to match that."
Bachelder says he plans to combine his education and experience to provide his customers with an alternative to the other options in the area.
By preparing most everything housemade and finding everything else as local as possible, he will be preparing fresh food everyday.
And that fresh, not frozen, food has already begun to catch people's attention in the community.
"I really don't advertise,"?he says. "I want it to be word of mouth."
And, because Bachelder is the one who is in the kitchen preparing the food, what you hear from your friend or neighbor is the same thing a customer will get when they eat at Juliet's Place, as well.
"I want my food to speak for itself,"?he says.
Buying the restaurant has allowed him to put his ideas for food into motion and hopes it continues.
"My ultimate goal is to let people experience the difference between food and just having something to eat," he adds. "There is a much bigger world out there than where we are and I'm going to bring that to my customers through my food."
Juliet's Place has been open for about three weeks and is located right along Main Street in Easton. They are open Wednesday through Saturday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. with the bar open as well. On Tuesdays only the bar will be open from 4 p.m. until close. Sundays Juliet's Place will be open from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. and will serve a breakfast buffet for lunch.
"We won't have breakfast any other day yet," Bachelder adds. "We don't have enough staff for that right now."
And, Bachelder and his wife will continue to work on and improve both the menu, the decor and the overall atmosphere.
"The restaurant is not The Club anymore, it's Juliet's Place,"?Bachelder says. Before he made the purchase he was sure to educate himself on the history of the business.
According to Bachelder, it was built around 1970 as the American Legion. Then it was sold to a local couple in the 1990.
"They ran it very successfully from what I understand,"?he says.
In 2005, Barb Dvorak purchased the building and reopened as The Club. She closed regular operation in 2009 but returned three or four times a year for private parties and Easton's St. Patrick's Day celebration.
"Now I've bought it and named it after my wife because I wouldn't be doing any of this if it wasn't for her," Bachelder says. "She's the greatest thing that happens to anyone who meets her."
And now people won't have to drive to the Twin Cities, Rochester or even Mankato for a little variety.
"This just shows that we can do nice things here, too,"?Bachelder adds.