Opening a restaurant is not for the weak hearted; the kind of determination, perseverance, work ethic and commitment it takes often bounces through teams of people before the doors finally open and the food hits your table. Unless of course, you’re these two ladies and you have a dream.
About Boulevard Bistro
Michelle & Kathy
Kathy Weiler and her young daughter Michelle moved to Dunnellon in 1978. Kathy, a baker by hobby in her free time, worked more than 20 years as a bookkeeper for C&S Roofing while Michelle grew up and graduated from Dunnellon schools. With Michelle’s goal of becoming a teacher, she began working for Outback while making her way through college. It wasn’t long before she earned a promotion and traveled as a new store opener and trainer for Outback Restaurants until she graduated and stepped into her teaching career at Dunnellon Middle School in 1998. While working her way from teacher, to Dean, to Assistant Principal and finally; serving as Principal for Florida Virtual Schools, Michelle and Kathy’s longtime dream of opening and running a café together was a topic never far from conversation. “What better way to spend my days than working alongside my daughter? We just got to the point where we said it’s now or never!” says Kathy. Submitting her resignation and taking a leap of faith, Michelle contacted a real estate agent and their journey began with finding the perfect café location.
Wanting to be close to Dunnellon and the community they love, there was no question this would be home when they walked into the former Mango’s Restaurant location in Citrus Springs. The dream was given a name and Boulevard Bistro underwent months of hard work and renovations; mostly by Michelle’s husband Kidge, with the full support of their family and friends. With its cozy coffee shop and bakery café themed atmosphere, Boulevard Bistro provides a warm welcome to all who enter. An added bonus to their full breakfast and lunch menu, is the Rancilio, the “Cadillac” of all coffee machines proudly displayed on their coffee bar. Serving frozen coffee drinks, smoothies, Italian sodas and frappes sent Michelle back to school for Barista training, where she perfected her coffee making skills and learned how to turn coffee into “art”. She is still perfecting the art, and laughs at herself as she shows off her awkward heart in the foam of her cappuccinos.
Since opening day February 12th, 2014, the community has been more than supportive with most of their regulars coming back several times a week. It may have something to do with the pastries, cupcakes, and treats Kathy bakes fresh every day; or it could be the familiar faces of the small staff that know a thing or two about good, personal customer service. Then again the fact that you won’t find anything frozen (except the kid’s chicken tenders) or the presence of a microwave in their kitchen may contribute to their popularity; there aren’t many people peeling their own potatoes for hash browns and French fries, or making homemade salads anymore. Their custom blended brisket, short rib and ground chuck Bistro Burger is already famous, and they once had a customer drive 51 miles for their Turkey Pesto Panini. You can already hear the sweet sound of success in the making for this little café and its two ladies who thought they could…