2018-01-01 / Business & Real Estate

Business BEAT: Historic, friendly feeling gives Restoratives Café a boost

By D. K. Christi


Brothers Jay and Tim Gillmore own and operate the friendly Restoratives Café in Estero. Brothers Jay and Tim Gillmore own and operate the friendly Restoratives Café in Estero. Restoratives Café is tucked into a strip mall just north of Broadway on Tamiami Trail in Estero. Hosts to neighborhood and seasonal regulars for the four years it has been open, brothers Tim and Jay Gillmore call it a real do-it-yourself project. Their passion for the café contributes to a casual, friendly atmosphere.

“We built the counters and cabinets and put the tiles in the ceiling,” said Tim Gillmore, the front-of-the-house and nuts-and-bolts owner/manager who also cooks. Executive chef/owner Jay Gillmore, a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts Orlando, is in charge of the creative fare consisting of healthy choices and comfort food from breakfast through lunch, six days a week.

Tim graduated as a history major and put his knowledge to work in the design details and restaurant name. “We found the space first and designed our café to fit the neighbor­hood,” said Tim. The eclectic space is just right for chatting over coffee, smoothies, daily fresh juice drinks or a bowl of homemade soup at one of the small tables or at the four-seat counter. Outside tables are available.

A green waiting bench reflects a historical context and the café’s color scheme. Green and black logo shirts are for sale. “The café’s name, Restoratives, dates back to the original idea of restaurants,” said Tim. He traces the name to a man named Boulanger in 1765 who inscribed on his sign, “Boulanger Sells Magical Restoratives.” The French word for “to restore” contains the root of the word restaurant.

With a wall display of local artists’ works for sale and another wall for signed photos of regular customers, it’s a cafe where the staff members often know the customers’ names and orders. Some tickets just have names when they go to the kitchen.

Behind the counter, large blackboards display the day’s restorative offerings. The menu includes customer favorites like torta – slow-braised beef brisket on a toasted hoagie roll with black bean puree, pickled jalape­nos, melted queso blanco, topped with pico de gallo and sour cream.

Breakfast favorites include the house special biscuits and gravy royale with cheese – flaky biscuits smothered in sausage gravy and topped with two fried eggs, bacon and cheddar cheese – and eggs made to order, as omelets or as breakfast sandwiches.

Cinnamon rolls made in-house with vanilla frosting can be enjoyed anytime. The daily fresh juice blend is delicious alone or with meals. Not to be forgotten are the fine wine and craft beers.

The Gillmore brothers are on-site with long-term staff members who pride themselves on serving fresh and delicious food and drink in a clean, bright and friendly cafe. Visit restorativescafe.com at 20461 S. Tamiami Trail, Estero, or call 239-949-6715.

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