• The Backstory: The Bistro

    By Tina Marie Polson

    When I tell you that there are places you need to go in Brooksville, this one ranks near the top. I can’t explain the feeling you get when you walk through the doors of this building. Built in the early 1900’s, it is full of historic charm with original ceiling, walls and floors. It has been a hardware store, a grocery store and flower shop.

    Presently, it houses one of Brooksville’s finest restaurants, The Bistro.

    Beyond the amazing food and beautiful atmosphere is a story. Catherine Reeves was kind enough to share that story with me, and I in turn am sharing it with you.

    Brooksville Business Spotlight on:  The Bistro

    Here are Catherine Reeves’ answers to my questions.

    Q:      What inspired you to open your business?

    A:      I opened The Rising Sun Bistro and Market in July 2014 with my friend Criss. She found restaurant life not for her. She now manages and owns the market part of the restaurant, which focuses on a wide assortment of unique and handmade goods.

    One of my main reasons for jumping into the restaurant was due to my daughter Emily, now 21 years old, who needed a safe place to learn life skills since she has autism.  She is fairly high functioning and she has come so far since opening.  She now does all jobs there except cooking. I love people and love getting to know all the people who come in.  Sadly I have lost many friends due to this place, since I did not have the time to cultivate our friendships and they did not understand. But, I also have gained many friends that I would not have known if I did not have this place.

    Q:      What drew you to choose downtown Brooksville for your store location?

    A:.     We are originally from Canada and were transferred for business to Clearwater in 1995. We then moved to Brooksville in 2004 when our son was dying of cancer. He passed in 2005 at age 14. I homeschooled Emily from that point on due to excessive bullying at the school.  The restaurant has been a lot more than I ever imagined. I am happy that I did not know how much work it was because I would have not done it.

    Q:      What is one of the most popular items in your establishment?

    A:      Our popular items are fried green tomatoes and our flatbread pizzas.

    Q:      Anything new and exciting we can expect to see soon?

    A:      We will be serving breads from Jamison B. Breadhouse Bakes from Ybor in the next few weeks. They make unique loaves of bread like no other I have seen so I am excited to have them for our sandwiches.  My main focus is trying new menu items with a twist.  I need to start experimenting again.  I love going down to the trendy places in Tampa and picking apart their menu to see what we can make in our little kitchen.

    I am also working closely with Arc and Vocational Rehab and we employ their clients from time to time. I want people that are needing the life skills to have a fun safe place to do this.

    Q:      Is there anything else you would like to add? 

    A:      About 50 percent of my business has come from catering. Saturday night is set just for special events. With the capacity to seat 120, we have done many weddings, anniversaries, and many other celebrations.

    I have always loved the downtown and it always made me sad to see it just there with little life in it.  When we started Thursday nights and saw the people coming downtown it was so great.  I am hoping for more businesses and restaurants to follow since most people do not stop when they only see the lights of one or two places open. People are attracted to excitement and I hope that we can all work toward bringing that to Brooksville.

    Rising Sun Bistro and Market Information

    Business Owner:  Catherine Reeves
    Address: 10 S. Main Street, Brooksville, FL
    Business Phone: (352) 345-4802

    Website:  http://www.risingsunbrooksville.com
    Facebook: Rising Sun Bistro and Market
    Instagram: @rising_sun_bistro_


    Author: Tina Marie Polson

    Born in Tampa, I fell in love with the wide-open spaces and hills of Brooksville. It’s a laid-back town full of great history and charm.

    My husband and I live in a rural area of Brooksville where we take in beautiful sunrises and sunsets and raise our two dogs along with a flock of chickens. It’s truly a magical place. When we drive into town, it’s full of wonderful little shops and eateries. One thing I find special is how business owners work together such as restaurants buying from the local meat market and farmers and the local coffee featured in restaurants. By keeping it local, everyone benefits. There’s a strong sense of pride for our town.

    I have visited several of these establishments and highlighted their shops, restaurants, and some local accommodations with my Business Spotlight series. Find the Follow Me to Brooksville series on Facebook. My hope is you will take a drive.

    Spend the day in our town.

    Make new memories.

    And fall in love with a new city just like I have.


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