The Farm Bistro is up for sale

Trendy bistro up for sale; owners prefer to farm

Laurie and Rusty Hall have decided to sell their restaurant, The Farm Bistro. Enlargephoto

Sam Green/Cortez Journal

Laurie and Rusty Hall have decided to sell their restaurant, The Farm Bistro.

In an odd twist of fate, overwhelming success has owners of The Farm Bistro looking to sell the popular eatery and return to their farming roots.

“It feels a bit strange to let go of what we created when it is doing better than ever,” said Laurie Hall, who owns the restaurant along with her husband, Rusty. “But we have to follow our hearts. Farming is our passion.”

Riding the wave of the farm-to-table movement, The Farm Bistro in Cortez has a large following that appreciates affordable dishes made from fresh, locally grown produce and meats.

The central location, casual dining area, fine local cuisine, and dedicated staff of 13 proved to be the perfect combination.

“It has been amazing and grew more than we ever imagined,” Laurie Hall said. “The community has been very supportive.”

The bistro started in 2009 as a small, mostly to-go lunch counter in a renovated barber shop on Main Street. The successful format was cooking up recipes using foods the family grew on their 80-acre Summit Ridge farm.

“People love the fresh, homegrown food. It’s a healthy lifestyle that is part of this community,” said the Halls’ daughter Dakota Hargett, a bistro server who also works the family farm.

The first restaurant was as an offshoot of our farm, Laurie Hall said, and it’s popularity soon overran the small space.

Urged by property owner Mitchell Toms, the Halls decided to move into their larger current space, quickly making it into a full-size restaurant with an expanded menu focusing on serving lunch, and dinners a few nights per week.

“It just kept growing, mostly by word of mouth,” Laurie said. “We were fortunate to jump on the bandwagon of the local-food movement. Our timing was really good, but now we have no time to farm!”

The owner-operated business has overtaken their life, and has left them dreaming of life on the farm.

“The decision to sell was very difficult because we care about our awesome customers, employees and growers so very much,” Rusty Hall said. “We believe the bistro has taken on a life of its own, with a character we hope will continue on without us. The Farm has a lot of potential that we simply don’t have time to pursue.”

The Halls are in no rush to sell, and are hoping to find a buyer who will continue operating the business as a farm-to-table restaurant.

“Rest assured that in the mean time, we will remain as fresh and excited about our restaurant as ever,” Laurie said. “Think good thoughts, and maybe we can manifest the perfect next owner who will build on what we started.”

The Farm Bistro is listed for sale at $280,000, not including the building or rent. Call 565-3834 for more information.