Opera Alley Bistro Redux


The keen sense of déjà vu you may be experiencing passing Opera Alley Bistro where once Café Nooner slung its falafel and burgers is warranted — another business by the same name operated there years ago. But this venture, opened officially Dec. 1 of last year, is run by Autumn and Kyall Widmier, who also own the Madrone Taphouse just across the lot. “We decided to revive something that used to be in Old Town,” says Kyall.
Fried chicken at Opera Alley Bistro. - SUBMITTED
  • Submitted
  • Fried chicken at Opera Alley Bistro.
And Old Town could use the reviving, with storefronts closing and the pandemic squeezing those businesses hanging on. The price of the Nooner's equipment in the rented space was "hard to say no [to], even in the middle of a pandemic.”

Autumn, who runs the kitchen at the Madrone and the bistro's menu, is particularly enthusiastic about swapping in elk and bison/buffalo for the popular OAB 50/50 burger ($13.99), a nod to both the nutritional benefits of the meats and her Montana Blackfeet heritage. "It's delicious and not everybody carries it." The full kitchen also offers possibilities beyond the restrictions of the woodfire-centric Madrone, where, she says, "I work with nothing but fire."
An OAB burger topped with a fried egg. - SUBMITTED
  • Submitted
  • An OAB burger topped with a fried egg.
Harley Bishop, formerly of Fat Anne's Bakery and Bistro, is making everything from scratch, she says, from the house sausage and cheddar biscuits to the pickled red onions. Opera Alley Bistro serves breakfast all day and the Monte Cristo ($12.99) sandwich and eggs Benedict ($14.99) are big sellers.

For now the bistro is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and for brunch on Sundays for takeout and seated dining across the lot at the Madrone, allowing them to operate with reduced staff. The Widmiers are braced for a return to outdoor dining and/or takeout only should the county head back into the purple tier. 

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