Small B&B Cafe, Big Flavors

Lunch rush over, I had a chance to sit down with Small B&B Café owners Lisa Piper and Dave Clark. Now open for several weeks, they had gotten a chance to find their groove with the breakfast, brunch, and lunch crowds. I was impressed with their collective calm as they worked and now, having just closed for the day, they were working on other things, among them, the inn.

Dave and Lisa had worked in Minneapolis for almost two decades in corporate and nonprofit sectors. Gradually, their love of food and folk prompted the opening of their coffee shop and café in Minnesota. Good food, art, the farm-to-fork philosophy…they brought it all with them to Pittsboro and we’re happy to see another great eatery enhancing our claim as a foodie destination as well as adding to our list of places to stay (soon).

I asked about the vision for the restaurant, inn, and menu. Dave said the site had four tiny rooms and he could see the restaurant with windows open to the east for morning exposure, a chance to reuse the walls and floors, windows higher on the wall to provide light but not distract, music outside and porch seating in warm temps, and a glimpse into the kitchen.

Whenever chefs embrace farm-to-fork, local food, and eating with the season, it means a great meal is ahead. The excitement is big since, in our area, with a growing inventory of farms and nurseries, the dishes that will be created are certain to be favorites. Dave and Lisa have a straightforward plan about their menu. They want to make food that they like and that they believe people will like, especially because it will be the food that goes with the season. They told me that it’s not formal training but plain passion for good food that drives the menu. It’s also old family recipes; one of their favorites is smashed potatoes, which has rapidly become a popular item, along with the quiche, breakfast items that are available beyond morning hours, and those chocolate chip cookies (well, this one’s popular with us!). Initially hesitant to serve southern food, Lisa told me their guests and friends said, “get over it.” And so they did and the grits, pulled pork, greens, and biscuits with gravy all became instant hits. Dave and Lisa’s appreciation for good food led me to ask about their food inspirations and they told me that their love of traveling and good food on their trips played a part, as did the acclaimed cookbook, Seven Fires: Grilling the Argentine Way.

What else can you look forward to when visiting for a meal? The possibility of extending your stay. Small B&B Café is also in the process of becoming a B&B. The inn rooms will all be much like the café—cozy and casual with the amenities you need. The creation of the first suite is already in progress and I got a sneak peek. It’s going to be roomy and ideal for a family or handful of friends. The suite will be able to accommodate from four to six comfortably and is designed for accessibility. It’ll work well for an extended stay, too, and guests will love that they don’t have a limit on how long breakfast is served/available.

While many have already found Small B&B Café as a meeting place during operating hours, another feature of the business is small meetings for a maximum of 25 guests. Meetings here will likely be productive and fun, especially with meals, so consider this place for board retreats, an occasion, or simply for a gathering of a large group of friends. Currently, Dave and Lisa will consider meeting requests based on schedules and availability so let them know your plans and they’ll talk with you about the options.

Looking ahead, guests will have more exciting features to anticipate in addition to varied dishes—guest chefs, special dinners, music with mobile meals (maybe some food trucks), and possibly afternoon tea (we’re trying to talk them into this one). Visit them soon as they’re just around the bend, near the historic courthouse traffic circle in Pittsboro, with a fork and spoon marking the spot.

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