Daily Bread rises from the ashes | PostIndependent.com

Daily Bread rises from the ashes

Post Independent/Kelley Cox

With crepes, banana cakes and huevos rancheros, the Daily Bread has been resurrected in its old quarters on Grand Avenue.

Only now, the Daily Bread has a Polish flare.

Mark and Joanna Bartnik sold their house, threw most of their belongings into storage and moved into a smaller place in West Glenwood so they could reopen the Daily Bread, whose previous owner abruptly shuttered the restaurant last November.

On Monday, the Bartniks quietly fired up the grill at the Daily Bread with a remodeled interior and a made-over menu.

It’s “an American restaurant with a Polish accent,” Joanna said. She and Mark met some years ago in Poland while Mark was helping to open a five-star hotel in Warsaw. The two soon married and, in 1995, returned to Glenwood Springs where Mark grew up.

Former Daily Bread owner Nicky Brouillette leased her restaurant space from the Bartniks, who own the building.

So when Brouillette closed the business with six years left on her lease because of “irreconcilable issues,” the Bartniks decided to continue the nearly 23 year legacy of the Daily Bread themselves.

“It was a surprise for us,” Joanna said. “It was time to make some quick decisions.”

Though they hadn’t exactly envisioned themselves running a restaurant like the Daily Bread, they saw the closure as an opportunity.

“Let’s make it our lifelong dream,” Joanna said.

The Bartniks spent months tying up strings from Brouillette’s ownership, remodeling the restaurant, creating a menu and hiring staff. They even bought the Daily Bread name from the restaurant’s original owners from whom Brouillette purchased the restaurant in the late 1990s.

The Bartniks said they have a plethora of people to thank for helping them reopen and staff the new Daily Bread.

“Lucky us, we do have some wonderful people on board,” Joanna said, adding that she and Mark had little trouble finding employees. Brouillette said last year she was forced to close the restaurant two days each week because she couldn’t find and keep staff long enough for consistent customer service.

“Some came because we put an ad in the paper, some came just like that,” Joanna said.

And chef Jerry Kauffman came because he was available.

Kauffman, a local chef who owned the now-defunct restaurants F.A. Barlows and Jack’s 82 Grill, said he’s excited to be part of the new Daily Bread.

“Everything’s homemade,” he said. “We take pride in what we do.”

Those expecting the old Daily Bread and its menu will be greeted with a bright dining room and a new menu that Mark said will expand over time as he, Joanna and the restaurant staff become accustomed to the new restaurant.

Right now, Mark said his philosophy for the menu is “keep it simple.”

Along with a variety of breakfast fare such as eggs, pancakes and french toast, the Bartniks are serving up Scandinavian benedict, a Greek omelet and Polish-style blintzes, with pierogis, golabkis and burgers the highlights of the lunch menu.

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