Black Mountain Tavern returns to familiar hands

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Dan Bubenheim

Tavern hours

New menu and hours beginning Thursday

From that time, the restaurant will be open from 11 a.m. to close, closed Wednesdays.

The restaurant also is open today, Monday and Tuesday from 3 p.m. to close, with a smaller menu.

— Dan Bubenheim is planning a return to a familiar Oak Creek restaurant in the coming week as he takes over control of Black Mountain Tavern. Bubenheim is planning a new menu and new specials, and he said diners can expect higher-quality food as he takes over the reins for the restaurant he helped start five years ago.

Bubenheim and business partner Doug Diamond started the Black Mountain Tavern together, and Bubenheim said the business flourished for the first four years. But in the past six months, the economic downturn put a crunch on business, and the business could not support two salaries.

Four months ago, Bubenheim stepped aside. Diamond continued the business, but the sales were slow enough that Diamond decided at the beginning of August to sell the business. At the time, he said the business was slowly picking up, but not enough to maintain the restaurant.

That's when he turned to Bubenheim, who agreed to buy the restaurant and take over the kitchen.

"What transpired was over the past four months, Doug decided he'd pretty much had enough, so he contacted me, and we ended up being able to work it out," Bubenheim said.

When discussing the sale, and before he would release the name of the buyer, Diamond said he was happy with who he had found to take over the restaurant.

"The person I have in mind who may take this over will not only keep the same integrity, it will probably be better," Diamond said at that time, at the end of July.

Even though the business has been lagging, Bubenheim said he is confident the research and time he has spent in Oak Creek will enable him to make money. He said he has big plans for the restaurant, starting with re-expanding the menu. In the past six months, the owners cut back the menu and hours to save money. The pizza oven was even turned off to save money because the business could not support the gas bills. Bubenheim said the restaurant's food quality wasn't always as high as he would have liked during that time because of the budgetary constraints.

"It put us kind of in a position that we were forced to go a little bit of a different direction culinary-wise, I might say, and I can assure you as I'm standing here right now, there's going to be a major difference in that," he said.

"I've been working for the past two weeks to revise and refresh the older menu and bring back all the local favorites and some new and exciting ones, as well," he said. He said he plans to unveil the new menu and to open for lunch once again.

Starting Thursday, the restaurant will be open from 11 a.m. through dinner and close, with new happy hour specials. Black Mountain Tavern also will be open today, Monday and Tuesday under the "recession" hours of 3 p.m. to close.

Bubenheim said he has the same staff and that except for a brief period during the past couple of weeks during transition, the business has remained open.

While he has been away from Oak Creek, Bubenheim, a certified chef with training form the Pennsylvania Culinary Institute, has been managing the restaurant at Steamboat Lake Outfitters. He said he enjoyed the foray into the opposite end of the county and working with the restaurant, and he will continue to work for the outfitters as a restaurant consultant.

Bubenheim said his plans for the coming months include some "surprise" events, possibly including Thai night or other specialties.

"I really want to let the people know that I appreciate the support the people have given us and the understanding they've shown over the past few months," he said. "And to let them know chef Dan Bubenheim is going to make sure everything is going to be fresh and new and exciting."

Comments

eastboy 5 years, 4 months ago

Congratulations and best wishes to Dan for taking this leap in these times. I certainly hope the old adage will apply-"when the going gets tough' the tough get going"! WELCOME BACK, Black Mountain

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