Soon-to-be new owners of establishment plan numerous customer-friendly changes
By Per Peterson
If you’re looking for that game day experience this fall but can’t make it to US Bank Stadium, you do have an option.
David and Sissa Bitton, who will soon assume ownership of the bar and restaurant in Garvin — which will be known as Bitton’s Roadhouse — are welcoming all Vikings (and Packers and Bears) fans to Garvin this fall for a tailgating experience built around a Bloody Mary bar. While the Bittons have no plans to turn the establishment into a sports bar, per se, they aim to to add some excitement to Sundays in Garvin and give football fans a place to gather.
“On Sundays, we’re going to open the place at 11 o’clock and attract the good ol’ Vikings fans — and, I wish, the Bears fans, which might not fly in this neighborhood,” said David, an Illinois transplant and die-hard Bears fan who has lived just south of Garvin on Lake Maria for more than a decade now. “For the Bloody Mary bar, the bartender will pour a shot of alcohol, and you walk to the bar and pick whatever condiments you’d like in it — make your own Bloody Mary the way you want it. From 11 to 1, everything will be set up in that separate bar area— veggies, meat, cheese, shrimp, all those things will be set up separate for the customer to decide what they want.”
David has made a living installing flooring for more than two decades, and said he’s reached the stage in his life where it’s time for a change. He knows his way around a kitchen, and is eager to start the next chapter in his professional life.
“After being a member of this community for 14 years, I’ve been thinking about a change in my own business and this was a great opportunity,” he said. “I’m looking forward to the challenge of taking on a bar/restaurant. I’m no stranger to working behind the bar and no stranger to cooking in the kitchen. I love this bar.”
The Bittons are currently in the process of taking over ownership of the longstanding establishment on Hwy. 59 from Earl Grimmius, who turned the popular This Ol’ Place into Saloon 59 a couple years ago. While the interior of the bar/restaurant will undergo minor modifications, there are plenty of changes on the horizon in other areas. For example, the business will be open every day (barring a blizzard), and the hours will be consumer-friendly.
“We’ll be open seven days a week,” David said.
The Bittons will also bring their own twist to the menu, which will include an expanded burger line and more kids’ offerings.
“There will be big changes to the menu,” David said. “The grill will be open until 9 o’clock, with the exception of during a blizzard — if I can’t make it out of my own driveway, odds are people are not going to leave their house.”
“We want to have a great menu,” said Sissa, a 1984 graduate of Tracy Area High School whose parents, Wimpy and Elle Peterson, owned and operated the Kafe Skandia in downtown Tracy for a number of years. “We’ve got a couple surprises coming to the menu, with little twists on the burgers. Our appetizer menu is going to grow, we’re going to have a few more sandwiches and wraps, and some more healthier options, instead of just the ‘bar food.’”
The Bittons, who also plan on offering take-out pizza in the near future, are entering into this venture as a family (their son, Alex, and daughter, Galiya, will have their own roles in the business along with other family members). In that respect, they know the importance of making Bitton’s Roadhouse a family destination.
“We want to bring other families in and make it more of a family environment, instead of just a complete bar-and-grill,” Sissa said. “There’ll be crayons for the kids and activities, so they don’t feel ‘lost.’ We want to build a kids’ menu and bring the families back in.”
“I’ve seen this place when it has been very successful, and I want to bring back the people, the pool teams, and see a lot of different people coming in,” David said. “This is a great location. As we say, this will be where good food and great friends intersect.”
For more on this article, see this week’s Headlight-Herald.