The doors of Fiddlehead Restaurant in Michigan City reopened Wednesday night, embracing the community it’s missed so much. Owner Aaron O’Reilly couldn’t have been happier to see everyone again as staff welcomed in patrons for the first time in months. Having moved to Michigan City four years ago, O'Reilly has developed a deep love for Michigan City.
“I love it here. I’m totally invested in the community,” he said. “This is my home.”
Fiddlehead was open for carry out and delivery during the pandemic but the dining room itself had been closed. With it's five year anniversary on May 25th, O’Reilly and employees spent the last ten days refinishing all the chairs and tables, painting, redecorating and updating the space. Now the dining room and patio are open with limited seating capacity.
Bartender Jake Howard was excited to have the doors open again, as well.
"I'm definitely happy to see familiar faces,” said Howard. He showed off the hard work Fiddlehead employees put into revamping the space in time for Wednesday's reopening.
“The tables were an undertaking for sure,” said Howard. “The lighting is brand new and I just love the look of the Edison bulbs.”
Employee Amanda Stout echoed Howard’s thoughts..
“The lights in here and on the patio are my favorite,” said Stout. “They are beautiful and really add to Fiddlehead's ambience.”
Stout has worked at Fiddlehead for four years. She has looked forward to the doors opening again and a bit of normalcy after months of uncertainty.
“I can’t wait until we get our Karaoke nights back on Fridays,’ said Stout. “ I missed our customers. I miss the regulars."
For some, Fiddlehead is almost like another home. Aoife Pyzdrowski and husband Andrew are regular customers with Fiddlehead being one of their favorite restaurants. Pyzdrowski explained she and her husband have been eagerly waiting for Fiddlehead to announce operations would be resuming.
“The food is so delicious, the staff so great. We’ve been waiting forever for them to open back up,” said Pyzdrowski, noting the hard work the staff put in to make the restaurant feel even more welcoming than ever before.
The Ward family, unaware that today was the restaurant's reopening, were enjoying fellowship and food, a regular occurrence for the family. For them, it was just another night enjoying their company in a restaurant they love.
“It’s just good food,” said Kila Ward.
While waiters bustled about taking orders and delivering artistic plates of food, Howard was busy mixing cocktails behind the bar. He couldn’t recommend just one kind of drink fit to celebrate their festive return.
“We have a bunch of really good Mules, but of course I love a really good Cosmo and Martini as well,” said Howard with a laugh.
Fiddlehead restaurant is located at 422 Franklin Street Michigan City. To make a reservation or order carry out, Fiddlehead can be reached at 219-210-3253.