Many entrepreneurs wanted it, but only one could have it. The Tandem restaurant will be given to Rosetta Bond and her 1700 Pull Up restaurant, due to open in spring.
Bond, who graduated from Milwaukee Area Technical College’s culinary program last year, has been working as a personal chef and caterer since 2017.
She was one of more than two dozen people to apply to receive the contents of the Tandem and operate at its former site, at 1848 W. Fond du Lac Ave. The chef-owner of the Tandem, Caitlin Cullen, closed her restaurant last summer after giving away 115,000 meals in the pandemic and said she would give away her near north side restaurant, too, rather than sell it.
Being able to open her restaurant at 19th Street and Fond du Lac Avenue is significant to Bond, who grew up in the neighborhood.
“I’m still in the 53205 ZIP code, and that means a lot to me. I live right around the corner from there,” she said.
Bond added, “I want to take this to a whole other level. I’m ready to do this for my community.”
Like Cullen at the Tandem, Bond plans to hire workers from the neighborhood and expects to work with youth advocacy groups, as well.
“I want to make sure we have things for our youth to do and give them basic life skills,” Bond said.
Bond submitted a business plan to be considered for the restaurant giveaway and held a tasting for the members of the panel that decided the winning applicant.
That tasting included the stuffed turkey legs that Bond is known for among her customers, as well as pan-seared lamb chops, and mac and cheese.
“Rosetta is amazing, and she just really knocked our socks off,” said Juli Kaufmann, a member of the deciding panel and one of the owners of the building housing the restaurant. Other panel members included Cullen, TrueMan McGee of Funky Fresh Spring Rolls, neighborhood residents and representatives of Walnut Way Conservation Corps.
“She has demonstrated so much passion and commitment and very specifically to the neighborhood in Lindsay Heights,” Kaufmann said, adding, “We are really inspired mostly by her savvy as an entrepreneur and her great cooking skills — her food was amazing.”
Bond first learned to cook from her grandmother, who she said was one of the first African-Americans to open a store around 20th and Center streets, and from her aunt. “My aunt took the torch of teaching me almost everything I know,” Bond said, after her grandmother died when Bond was in high school.
She’s taken the family recipes and tweaked them to make them her own, she said, dishes like the dressing she learned to make from scratch from her aunt Ruth, her grandmother Delsa’s greens and her Aunt Rie’s candied yams.
RELATED: The Tandem chef who gave away 115,000 meals in the pandemic is giving away her restaurant
RELATED: Former Tandem restaurant owner Caitlin Cullen joins Riverwest Food Pantry, which hopes to open a cafe
Bond plans to change the menu at the restaurant seasonally. “What’s there for the first four months might not be there for the next four months,” she said.
Bond prepares a range of dishes for her 1700 Pull Up catering that customers likely will find at the restaurant, such as corned beef and reuben sandwiches; traditional or jerk turkey legs with toppings such as greens, chicken dressing, dirty rice or mac and cheese; and the menu items she makes for her Soul Food Sundays, such as chicken or pork chops — fried or smothered — and pot roast.
1700 Pull Up will open for lunch and dinner Tuesdays through Saturdays once city licenses are approved. Before then, Bond is planning to redecorate and perhaps install a smoker for the turkey legs .
“I am so excited to let the world taste my food,” she said.
In the meantime, she’s continuing her 1700 Pull Up catering with online ordering through CashDrop.biz, posting her menus on Facebook and Instagram.
Contact dining critic Carol Deptolla at email@example.com or (414) 224-2841, or through the Journal Sentinel Food & Home page on Facebook. Follow her on Twitter at @mkediner or Instagram at @mke_diner.
Credit: Source link