The Bridge Discontinuing Operations on August 25

Dear Zanesville Community,

I’m writing to tell you that The Bridge is closing at the end of this month. Our last day of operations will be August 25, 2017.

Thank you so much for supporting our business and mission over the past year. We’re so unbelievably blessed by all of the friends we’ve made. The customers, the farmers and the staff—there is so much love in this community, and we will be forever touched by that.

When we purchased The Bridge on September 1, 2016, our ambition was to find new ways to share the love of Jesus with our community. Over the past year, we’ve done our best to love our customers by feeding them delicious, healthy food. We’ve loved our neighbors in Putnam by providing a healthy local restaurant and by supporting revitalization projects in the neighborhood. And we’ve supported local farmers by sourcing more than 50% of the ingredients our restaurant uses from within 50 miles of Zanesville.

Most importantly to us, we’ve loved our employees. We’ve done our best to create a respectful, supportive work environment, and to empower our staff. We’ve had the distinct pleasure of working with reformed felons, homeless persons, single working parents, and individuals in addiction recovery. While sometimes that has resulted in spectacular failures, drama and disappointment, on the whole we have been amazingly blessed to see marginalized individuals seize hold of the trust we’re willing to give them and to make tremendous improvements in their personal and professional lives.

It makes us sad to lose these opportunities to love others, and to discontinue refining and improving our methods.  But while we are only human and have surely failed and made mistakes, we are proud of the way we have loved our community, and proud of the way we have conducted ourselves.

There are a hundred variables that effect a restaurant like ours, and there are many reasons why we are closing. As Christians, we walk a fine line, in tension between living as a pure example of Jesus for our employees, customers and suppliers, and utilizing methods that are practical and reasonable for a real business which needs to keep its doors open. It’s the same tension that every Christian on the planet faces every day, just on a larger scale and with a special intentionality.  Ultimately, we didn’t find the perfect middle path, and we’ve slowly bled money investing in our employees, investing in our neighborhood, and investing in local farmers.

A group of Christians collectively invested about $50,000 for the operations of the restaurant over the past year. While closing our doors isn’t the outcome that any of us hoped for, we are proud of the things we have invested in, and the results that we have achieved.  In terms of real lives changed, dollar for dollar we’d put our results up against the effectiveness of any conventional charity or non-profit.

There are practical reasons for our closing as well. While we chose the location for our restaurant intentionally to serve a lower-income community, the seemingly permanent closure of Muskingum Ave./Dug Rd. was unexpected and has had a significant impact on our revenues.

And, as with any business, there are always things that with perfect hindsight we could have done differently which would have been more effective.

We are surely disappointed to close The Bridge. It breaks our heart to have cared so much, to have worked so hard, and to now be done.  We ask for your grace and empathy as we make this transition.

We will continue our normal hours and service through the day on August 25, and look forward to feeding you amazing, locally sourced food until then.  And we invite you to purchase a ticket and join us on the evening of Friday, August 25th for a special farm-to-table dinner featuring steaks from McNutt Farm II in Blue Rock.

Your friendship means the world to us. And we look forward to the next adventure that God has for us. We will continue to serve this community, and to find practical ways to bring the love of Jesus to our neighbors.

In Christ we serve.

-Brad and Melissa Pauquette

12 comments

  1. Tom and Connie Downer says:

    We are disappointed , to be sure, but in total understanding. You can leave this chapter knowing you did well. We will miss having a restaurant we could truly feel good about eating the food served. It was always delicious!
    Thanks for the kindness, good hospitality and friendliness that was always shown by all of you . God’s best to you in the next chapter of your lives.

  2. Annie Warmke says:

    Lessons learned will support your next endeavor. Yoi’re remarkable loving souls who have the ability to make a rwl difference…that’s how you will measure your investment. Thanks for being you.

  3. Sherry Erhard says:

    Just loved the Bridgr and you whole mission in life. Wishing you all the best!!

  4. Sheila hina says:

    I’m sorry to hear that you are closing. I had just begun to get to know you as a business. My name is Sheila and I work with people who have barriers to employment. I had planned on visiting and having lunch at the bridge on Friday in order to learn more about your business. Now I will definitely stop in on Friday while you’re still there. God must have another plan in mind for you.

  5. Barbara Hoopes says:

    I am sorry to hear of your closing. My our Lord and savior Jesus Christ guide your path to bigger and better things that will glorify His name.
    Your restaurant was a blessing to many.

  6. Sarah Barr says:

    I’m so sorry to hear this. Your mission is an admirable and necessary one for sure and your food is delicious. Best of luck to you in whatever new endeavors you pursue!

  7. Richard Greiner says:

    So sorry you are closing.We had lunch there just last Friday and it was delicious and the atmosphere was beautiful.God bless you on your future endevours.

  8. Diane Jewell says:

    I am one who has never been to your restaurant, I have heard people say it is so good. This is so sad. I guess I better come before you close. So sorry for this news.

  9. Alec Ryan says:

    Sorry to see a wonderful business like this close. They have done so much for their customers, their employees, and the community. Thanks for everything guys!

  10. Bonnie Roberts says:

    Sorry to hear this. It’s very disappointing to have a restaurant that has resourced most of the food locally and provided jobs for so many shutting down. With the food movement just getting started here in Muskingum county and to have very few restaurants to offer fresh plates of food and local meats, well to say the least not here.. I’ll miss the awesome burgers and yes one the best dang steaks I have ever had….

  11. CASEY says:

    God is good, all the time! Love you guys!

  12. Chad Stemm says:

    I’m sad to see you close. I’ve brought many friends there. Everyone impressed with the place and food. Imma gonna need that salted Carmel bar recipe though, please. 👅

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