According to a press release, the Brick District Playhouse reopened the Playhouse CafÃ© on Monday. The cafe is located in the historic Fulton Theater at 613 Court St.
The Playhouse is a public charity that has worked to restore the building and support the performing arts by providing an auditorium, but now with a cafe that will offer breakfast, lunch, and catering.
âThe Playhouse is truly the culmination of almost a decade of hard work by businesses and volunteers in downtown Fulton,â said Playhouse President Tom Riley. âWe realized the importance for our community of preserving our history and supporting a vibrant and unique downtown – we just needed to renovate one of our most important buildings. “
In 2020, however, the COVID-19 pandemic hit the theater hard.
âWe lost the ability to generate income with events and also lost our tenant,â said Playhouse vice president Debbie LaRue.
The Playhouse then formed a committee of volunteers to design and oversee its own restaurant at the front of the building.
âA restaurant that could run all week and support our rentals and events is key to our long-term success,â said Tana Real Williams, committee member.
However, COVID-19 restrictions in the fall and the departure of a general manager forced the CafÃ© to close.
âAs a nonprofit and manager of charitable funds, we knew we had to wait until we had the people, the business plan and the ability to operate successfully before reopening,â added Williams.
Last spring, the Playhouse hired Brian Mann as the CafÃ©’s new general manager. Mann is a resident of Callaway County and an experienced chef and manager. He was previously the Food and Beverage Manager for Glenn’s CafÃ© in Columbia.
âBrian has done a fantastic job finding local food suppliers, hiring staff and reducing costs, all while developing a unique menu,â said Committee member Amanda Long.
In addition to pastries, cookies and sauces and breakfast sandwiches, the CafÃ© will also offer Starbucks coffee and tea, soups, salads and sandwiches for breakfast, as well as homemade fries, pasta salad and desserts.
âThe menu emphasizes fresh, locally sourced and affordable ingredients prepared on site that will complement our larger dining menu,â said Mann.
All net revenue from the CafÃ© will go to charitable efforts to complete the restoration of the theater and support the local performing arts.
âThe cafe and the theater as a whole will be invaluable in supporting any downtown business,â said Brick District President and Beks Owner Garry Vaught, who volunteered as as advisor and supporter of the Playhouse. âThe city center must once again become a destination for food and pleasure, in addition to shops and businesses.â
The CafÃ© will be open daily during the week from 6.30 am to 2 pm and will offer brunch on Saturdays with Eggs Benedict and other specials.
Daily specials, events and rental details, and more information can be found on www.playhousecafefulton.com, the Playhouse CafÃ© Facebook and Instagram pages, or by calling 573-310-6337.