Point Breeze restaurant has new look, and new operators
POINT BREEZE Nicole and Ed Bellnier debated earlier this spring whether they should enjoy a summer of leisure with their boat on Lake Ontario or commit to reviving a former restaurant site and running that demanding business.
The couple loves the Point Breeze community, and they saw the restaurant as an important gathering spot for the community. They decided to sell their boat, and use that money to help get the restaurant off the ground.
They opened the Breeze Inn Again restaurant and café on May 22. The site is at 928 Point Breeze Rd., near the northern end of Route 98.
“We wanted to give something back to the community,” Mrs. Bellnier said. “Point Breeze is a little niche. It’s a tight-knit community.”
Bellnier worked as a waitress at the Crooked Door Tavern in Albion, starting the first day for the business. She was there 3 ½ years and then worked at the Medina Theatre Company as a manager.
“I love the restaurant business,” Bellnier said. “Every day is different.”
Nicole Bellnier prepares a Reuben sandwich at Breeze Inn Again. The Reuben is one of the restaurant’s more popular items. Bellnier slow cooks the corned beef for five hours. Employee Tyler Quill is also pictured. He cooks, does the dishes, prep cooks, and serves up ice cream.
Bellnier has been using many of her grandmother’s recipes in preparing the food. Breeze Inn Again serves breakfasts, lunch and dinner.
Her husband has worked in sales for 30 years at the Spurr dealership in Brockport.
They gave the restaurant new paint, a new menu, added ice cream and an outdoor seating area. The building is owned by John Brown and David Tufts, and they put in new kitchen equipment.
The Bellniers are active in the Oak Orchard Neighborhood Association. The restaurant, back when it was known as Breeze Inn, was the birthplace for OONA about a decade ago. Community members used to meet at the site to play cards and games.
The picnic tables have all been painted with fun colors as part of an outdoor area for ice cream and desserts.
Mrs. Bellnier is among a staff of eight that are serving breakfasts and lunches on Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday. The restaurant stays open later for dinner from Thursday through Saturday.
Mrs. Bellnier suffered a broken leg four days before Breeze Inn Again opened. She managed to cook, bus tables and prep food, using a scooter to get around. She had a cast on for 6 ½ weeks.
She strives for quality ingredients, including fresh produce from local farmers. She said the restaurant needs to make the extra effort for customers.
“People only have so much time and money,” she said. “When they come here we want them to feel welcome.”
Bellnier said Point Breeze can feel like a peaceful getaway, with the lake, a lighthouse, the Oak Orchard River and several fruit farms. She believes the new restaurant adds to charm of the area.
“We live right around the corner from here and we wanted to have something beautiful for the community with fresh food,” Bellnier said.