The folks at B.A.M. Healthy Cuisine know a little something about getting by with what you've been given.
Tucked inside a small brick building with a hearing aide supplier and Koala Kruisers transportation service, the health food restaurant boasts around 1,000 square feet. In the summer, open doors and a breeze act as a makeshift air conditioner, and in the winter, the heat from the kitchen maintains a comfortable temperature in the dining room.
It's gone without those "creature comforts" since it opened at the site of a former pizza place about eight years ago, but soon it will see some big improvements. Come spring, B.A.M. (Body and Mind) Healthy Cuisine will find its new home inside the building that's being erected at Washington Square.
And you bet it'll have air conditioning, heat, more parking and, heck, even a public restroom.
"When we were approached about a possible location there, we did everything we could do to make it happen," said Ashley Fockler, who owns the restaurant with Mike Roberts. "In the past year we've looked at other spots, and nothing really felt right. And this was a gut feeling: It was a good move."
The restaurant plans a move in April and will start working on the inside of the new location in the next couple weeks. It will join a Winking Lizard restaurant, Verizon Wireless store and another tenant, which has yet to sign on to the fourth and final spot, in the new Washington Square building.
A new look, inside and out
The move gives B.A.M. a chance to create a new look for itself. The restaurant has partnered with the North Canton architecture firm Sol Harris Day because of the firm's "modern and contemporary" style, Fockler said.
"Being brand new, it'll be whatever we want, really," Fockler said. "It should be like nothing around here."
She envisions something simple with splashes of color (something "fun, trendy and a little bit funky"), plus a wall for local artwork. She'd like to see pieces from Hoover High adorning the walls.
"It's cool because your environment is always changing," she said. "You're never looking at the same stuff."
The new location will seat between 40 and 50 — while the old could handle under 20 — and an outdoor patio will seat another 20-30 people.
Customers will place their orders and pick up to-go orders at two separate stations in the restaurant. And, instead of going up to the counter to get their dine-in food, an expeditor will bring it out to the customers.
Parking will more convenient as well. B.A.M.'s parking lot on Main Street fits just a handful of cars and often becomes a mess around lunch and dinner times when drivers pull into the lot, can't find a spot and need to turn around.
The new location will have plenty of parking, thanks to the addition of a new parking lot to accommodate the new building's staff and customers.
There's more. The restaurant also will focus on being more environmentally friendly, with recycling stations for compostable items, recyclables and trash, and by using non-disposable containers for dine-in food.
B.A.M. does breakfast
The move will bring with it some menu changes. The restaurant plans to start serving breakfast items, which could include breakfast wraps, egg white bowls and egg quesadillas.
Fockler plans to have a display case for chilled items and keep the current grab-and-go cooler that carries parfaits, power bombs and other items.
The addition of breakfast also means the restaurant will open earlier. Fockler said she also plans to keep the place open later, especially on weekends, though hours aren't determined just yet.
When it comes to transitioning from one location to the other, Fockler said she foresees a lag time of a few days, possibly a week, as they move large equipment from one site to the other.
North Canton Patch has seen and heard the buzz from readers (on the website as well as Facebook and Twitter) who are excited about the move. Fockler said customers in the store can't stop themselves from asking about it, either.
"The excitement from our customers is awesome; I've never experienced anything like it," she said. "It's very rewarding to hear all these people comment and to be so excited. It's great."