Restaurant Review: bread + bar

It’s not often that a bakery is so well received that its owners decide to open a restaurant! But sometimes it happens, and so it goes with bread + bar.

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When my girlfriend and I decided to catch up for a long-overdue cocktail and dinner, she suggested a restaurant in Benton Harbor, Michigan: bread + bar.

I love her, but I didn’t trust her. Benton Harbor is not known for its cuisine. The area the restaurant is located in has seen finer hours–it’s a bit run down, but don’t let that deter you.

Still, she picked a winner and I want to be the first to share it with you: bread + bar is a hidden gem of a restaurant near Whirlpool’s world headquarters.

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Directly next to the St. Joseph River and a short distance from the impressive Harbor Shores golf club, bread + bar’s location makes it a wonderful option to watch the sunset while dining alfresco. While there are many worthwhile items on its menu, if your travels take you to bread + bar, you must promise me you’ll try a craft cocktail. The restaurant has a full service bar, wonderful cocktails and craft beers.

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I’ve eaten at bread + bar twice, and was impressed both times. There’s no nice way to say this, so I won’t try: I couldn’t believe that such a beautiful, modern place was in Benton Harbor. It’s certainly the type of place I would bring an out-of-town friend {even my New York brother!!}.

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The restaurant is simply decorated and has a clean, open feel. The décor uses natural materials: reclaimed woods, a simple bar, tables and a small collection of booths. The result is something loft-like and semi-industrial. The mix of reclaimed wood and stunning light fixtures create an environment that’s casual and elegant all at the same time.

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bread service.

The restaurant is an offshoot of the popular bakery, Bit of Swiss. With this in mind, it’s no surprise that bakers craft the restaurant’s bread offerings from scratch, with each offering prepared fresh for lunch service or dinner service. On my first visit, we were told we’d need to wait until the bread was finished baking! The Bit of Swiss bakery bakes its bread in the French style and has a strict “from scratch” policy. The breads are baked in a 20,000 lb French oven.
Because of this relationship, (same owners, different place), all of the desserts are supplied by Bit of Swiss.

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insider details.

Diners visiting the restaurant Monday – Thursday will be thrilled to discover its Bottle Night Service. On weeknights, bottles are discounted making the restaurant a wonderful option for a long, relaxing dinner.

If you’re in a hurry, the restaurant offers ready-made sandwiches and salads to go. This is a great option for diners en route to the office, home or headed to the golf course or beach. The menu can be found here. Simply call ahead or drop in for easy, on-the-go options.

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the menu.

The menu changes often as the restaurant sources its ingredients locally. I’ve had the Curried Chicken Salad, the Roasted Michigan Chicken, a few French 75 cocktails, and can say that without exception, everything was incredible.

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The restaurant also hosts many themed dinner events–wine tasting events led by a sommelier, beer pairings in partnership with the popular independent brewery, Greenbush Brewery and fun, unexpected offerings including special menus for St. Patrick’s Day and champagne blind tastings to name a few.

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If you’re in town, this restaurant is worth a visit.

address + phone number.

645 Riverview Drive
Benton Harbor, Michigan 49022

(269) 757-7219
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