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Bloom Café owner talks renovations, reopening

Bloom Café owner talks renovations, reopening


BRISTOL, Tenn. — After months of being closed, Bloom Café and Listening Room is set to reopen in early fall with a new menu and an updated look.

Owner Em Fehr said the restaurant, at 606 State St. in downtown Bristol, closed in mid-April amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Since then, the focus has been on renovating and making additions. She said there is a bit more work to do, but the hope is to reopen in late September or early October, around Bloom Café’s third anniversary.

“I really took the time to figure out what we needed,” Fehr said.

The mid-century eclectic decor and vibe will remain, Fehr said, but the walls have been repainted, new lights have been installed, and many seats have been replaced with booths. She said she switched to booths for most of the seating because people like booths, and they are easy to wipe down and clean in accordance with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.

“It’s very important to me that we follow CDC guidelines,” Fehr said. “I want us to be known for taking them seriously.”

A new kitchen with an oven has been added, which will allow for an expansion of the menu.

Once the eatery reopens, there will be an all-day brunch menu that will include additions like waffles, homemade biscuits, quiche and gluten-free Pop-Tarts, which Fehr said are delicious.

“I think there will be a lot of excitement for our brunch menu,” Fehr said.

On the beverage front, coffees and teas will also make a return, and Fehr said the smoothies will be made with fresh fruit. She added that’s she’s trying to get a liquor license so mimosas and other drinks that will complement the new brunch menu can be served.

Some things will be limited due to the pandemic, though. Before the pandemic, Bloom often hosted music shows and other events where people gathered, but Fehr said there won’t be any big shows, as of now.

However, some events will still be held, and one is set to occur before the official reopening. On Sept. 26, there will be an outdoor thrifting event, during which some of the old inventory of vintage mid-century-style dishes, art, books and furniture will be sold.

Overall, Fehr the restaurant will move forward.

“I think the community is ready for us to reopen,” Fehr said. “Everyone has been very supportive and really patient.” | 276-645-2412 | Twitter: @Leif_Greiss

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