By Lyndsie Kiebert
Reader Staff Writer
Crepes, sandwiches, espresso, stone-baked pizza, quiche, traditional Italian ice cream — you dream it up, the Cedar Street Bistro makes it, and likely from scratch.
Owners Tim and Manuela Frazier have expanded on their bistro’s impressive repertoire for a decade now, but even with 10 years under their belts, some might argue the bistro is a hidden gem.
“I think a lot of locals don’t even realize we’re here,” said bistro manager Maggie McCallum. “All the time, people ask, ‘Where do you work?’ and when I say ‘Cedar Street Bistro inside the bridge,’ they say ‘What’s that?’”
But on a chilly February morning when the sun shines through the floor-to-ceiling windows and people fill the large corridor with chatter as they sip coffee and eat breakfast, the bistro — and the bridge as a whole — are a sight to see.
“When you look out there and you’ve got a full seating area, people are talking, they’re having a great time — there’s something very satisfying about that,” Tim said, motioning toward the scene.
Not only do the Fraziers have the bistro, but also a wine bar, T-shirt shop and Christmas shop (open year-round) in the Cedar Street Bridge.
“We want to keep the bridge a year-round destination,” Tim said.
As the Sandpoint tourist season fluctuates, so do the crowds at the bridge. Manuela said she makes fresh gelato — Italian ice cream made in small batches — every morning in the summers as the lines reach out the door.
“We meet people from all over the world,” she said. “There are people who come in here for the first time, and they ask what to do, what to see (around Sandpoint), and that’s fun for us, being tour guides.”
Still, the bistro’s regulars hold a special place in McCallum’s heart. She’s been working at the bistro for over five years.
“Sandpoint regulars are really awesome,” she said. “Our tourists are great — I love them. But your regulars are your bread and butter. Those are the people that you see everyday.”
To thank those regulars — and everyone else who has enjoyed the bistro over the last decade — the business is having a weekend-long anniversary celebration Feb. 24 and 25. McCallum said there will be live music, gift cards given away, the chance to win a free latte a week for a year, as well as gelato, pizza and wine tasting.
Marsha Muery has been managing the bistro’s wine bar since it opened about a year ago. She said there is almost always live music on Friday and Saturday nights, and that she strives to help people access high-quality wines.
“I want people to know that there is a viable resource for wine in this town, and I’d say 85 percent of the bottles I carry are not in the grocery stores around here,” she said.
McCallum said she is proud to be a part of the variety, scene and service the Cedar Street Bistro offers, and hopes more Sandpointians will come experience it.
“For one business to be here for 10 years — that’s a thing to boast about in Sandpoint,” she said. “We try to bring uniqueness, and we try hard to offer things you can’t get everywhere else.”
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