BY MOLLY BRUSH
If you’ve visited the Bakehouse on Bloomington’s downtown Square in the past few months, you’ve probably noticed some changes. For one thing, it’s no longer the Scholars Inn Bakehouse — it’s now Black Canyon Bakehouse. It also has a new look and a new menu.
The transformation is due to the efforts of the restaurant’s new owners, Ken Davenport and Garrett Hibiske. The two bought both the downtown Bakehouse and Scholars Inn Gourmet Café & Wine Bar from Lyle Feigenbaum in November 2015.
Davenport and Hibiske, who also own Black Canyon Restaurant in Fort Wayne, Indiana, set out to bring a fresh approach to the Bakehouse, starting with improvements to the interior, including new paint and lighting. “We really just revamped everything from the ground up,” Hibiske says.
In fall 2016, they introduced a new menu that includes thick-crust pizza, calzones, clam chowder, chicken and waffles, a fried eggplant wrap, and a variety of creative sandwiches and large fresh salads. They also expanded the drink menu and teamed up with The Chocolate Moose to create a skillet cookie that is served with The Chocolate Moose ice cream.
The restaurant now closes at 4 p.m., which Hibiske says will allow them to focus on further improving breakfast (served until closing) and lunch offerings.
In the near future, Davenport and Hibiske will develop a new direction for the Scholars Inn Gourmet Café & Wine Bar. According to Hibiske, the plan is to maintain an upscale feel but make the restaurant more approachable. Under consideration is a mid- to high-end Italian concept, which they will test with diners over winter break.
But no matter what direction they choose, there will still be a few Scholars Inn favorites on the menu, like the filet mignon and the French onion soup.
“We don’t want to turn off people who have been coming here for years,” Hibiske says. “We want them to still enjoy the feel of the place but also enjoy some of the new things we’re doing.”
Hibiske says so far they’ve received a lot of positive feedback about the changes to the Bakehouse, and they’re looking forward to growing their business in Bloomington. “Hopefully we’ll be here for years and years to come,” he says.