On a warm summer’s day in 2018, I met a friend for lunch. Mags had recently decided to leave the restaurant where she had been working. She wanted me to know she would like to work with me should I ever consider another restaurant concept. My first thought was, “You must be joking. I have enough on my plate.” However, her next words enticed me. “I have always wanted an Alsatian-focused place,” she said. Mags loves German and French food and wine and grew up in southern Netherlands. The idea piqued my interest.
I grew up in a big midwest German family. My parents’ restaurant was a German bierhalle called Luedtke’s Bratskellar. After my conversation with Mags that day, ideas continued to churn in my head. I couldn’t shake them. I ordered countless recipe books and every time I turned a page I found another recipe from my childhood. I was hooked. How could I say no to a concept that spoke to the very reason I am in this business? A few months later, a space became available and I decided to go for it. Mags is now my managing partner and together we have created BROT.
BROT literally means ‘bread’ in German but, figuratively, it means ‘livelihood.’ That’s the definition that stuck with me. This IS our livelihood; this is how we earn our daily bread. I have always named my concepts from the heart and BROT is no different. With this new place, I want to help show people that restaurants are hard work. It’s a humble living but it’s a living and this is our passion. To that end, we have implemented a service charge model at BROT to help pay all our staff a livable wage. It’s only right to take care of those who take care of you and to continue to help good restaurants and good people survive. The current restaurant model is quite flawed and the difference in wages from the front of the house to the back of the house is inequitable in many cases. Many restaurants fail because of high labor and food costs. This is our attempt to even the scales and to honor all those who help bring great food and spirit to every plate.
We hope you enjoy BROT as much as we enjoy having you here.