BEEK’S opening Tuesday

Published 11:53am Friday, August 2, 2013

BEEK’S, opening Tuesday at 724 N. Front St., is an acronym for the family of five serving breakfasts, lunches and fish Friday night.

BEEK’s stands for Brian (Maruska), Emma, Evan, Kellie and 4-month-old baby Seth.

You may already know them, since Brian attended Union High School with the Class of 1993 before graduating in Chicago.

He spent 11 years down the street making pizzas at a micro-eatery variously known as MiMi Sarducci’s, Front Street Café, Danny’s Dugout, Ray’s and Callahan’s.

He sees beyond the succession of Mexican restaurants such as Acapulco and El Paso, which closed around Memorial Day, to recall the former A&W adjacent to Pizza Hut occupied by the bustling breakfast business of Jim’s Café.

Brian and Kellie, a Baltimore native he met three years ago while she was a server in a South Bend restaurant, thought the fresh format would be an ideal way to carve out more family time. They’ve been married for a year.

“It’s a whole different concept,” Brian said Thursday. “We’re not doing pizzas anymore,” but they will offer a sneak-preview taste test Sunday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

“There’s a lot more space,” he said of the roomier 48-seat dining area. “We’re not offering delivery at this time. We’re going to be open Tuesday through Sunday, 6 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Friday night from 4 to 9” for the four-piece fish platter or a meat entrée alternate. Fish dinners come with ice cream for dessert.

“You can get breakfast every day up until 2, but not on Friday night,” Brian said. “We’re going to try to keep the menu as simple as possible. I’m going to miss the pizza business. Our number-one cook, Cindy Patrick, has been in the business for 35 years. Connie has been serving and cooking in Dowagiac for 20 years. Lynn and Stephanie have worked for us about six years down there.”

Their five-block move is creating five positions.

Maruska, who started at 203 N. Front St. in 2001, has been in the restaurant business since 1997.

“You do what you enjoy and what you’re good at,” he said, “and this is one of them.”

“We have homemade breakfast sausage you will not find anywhere else,” said Kellie, who is developing a Facebook page so customers can follow specials.

“I think our biggest draw is going to be biscuits and gravy,” Brian said.

BEEK’S will also serve pancakes and waffles.

There will be Wi-Fi access with a food purchase.

“There’s a $2.99 special — two eggs, potatoes, bacon or sausage, toast. You won’t leave hungry,” she said.









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