Restaurants and businesses have been opening in Bloomington faster than people can keep track. It’s even hard for the Chamber of Commerce to keep track of all the places opening around the city.
“They’re opening like crazy,” said Tammy Clarke, director of member services.
Bret Pafford Jr. is a managing partner through ReVv and Strum Hospitality, the company that owns the newly-opened Village Pub in the old Princess Theater on Walnut Street. It’s the first of a few modern restaurants Pafford plans to open in Bloomington.
Over the next several months, Pafford plans to open four new locations in one building that will be located at 217 W. Sixth St., between Social Cantina and Janko’s Little Zagreb.
The first will be a coffee and gelato shop called Brilliant Coffee Company. Pafford said the company plans to make its own gelato every day with healthy ingredients and no preservatives. He said he feels like this kind of business is what’s missing in the downtown area, because it’s right off the B-Line Trail and provides a breaking point for those using the trail.
“People are creatures of routine,” Pafford said. “You have to have places for them to want to go.”
Brilliant Coffee Company will serve coffee and gelato in different forms, including some spiked with alcohol for those over 21.
Pafford said there will be a soft opening at the end of March and a grand opening in early April.
Soon after the opening of Brilliant Coffee Company, Pafford and his company plan to open a lunch-time restaurant called Nourish Bar in the same building. It will only serve gluten free foods.
“It’s kind of your late-lunch destination geared toward people who appreciate health foods,” Pafford said.
The restaurant will serve items such as salads, flat breads and soups. ReVv and Strum Hospitality plans to open the restaurant around the middle of the summer.
“It’ll be the place to go for nourishment,” he said.
Pafford plans to roll out a market, catering restaurant and service called Capisce Market this summer as well.
To top it all off, Pafford and his company plan to open a high-end seafood restaurant and oyster bar called Top Bar. He said seafood will be flown in from all over the world and the wine and cocktail list will be extensive.
“It’s primarily about being over the top,” Pafford said.
There will be a dance floor and dueling grand pianos as well, all on the top floor of the building the other restaurants will be in. Top Bar will overlook City Hall and the Bloomington Community Farmers’ Market, Pafford said. The bar will have an open sky concept with awnings and heaters for bad weather, so it can stay open year-round. Top Bar is slated to open in late summer before students are back in Bloomington.
MC Webb, who handles marketing for the restaurants, is a recent IU graduate. She runs the restaurants' social media accounts, including Village Pub, and said she’s looking forward to continuing her work in Bloomington with these new developments.
Webb said she doesn't think Bloomington has anything like Top Bar or Brilliant Coffee Company.
“I think this is exactly what Bloomington needs,” Webb said.
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