BRATTLEBORO >> The new owners at Elliot Street Fish, Chips and More are hosting the first of many planned charity nights at the restaurant tonight.
Erin Scaggs and Olivia DeWolfe had keys to the restaurant within weeks after the previous owners of the falafel joint made a post on Facebook about selling the business. Scaggs and DeWolfe have now been co-owning since August 1.
"I always thought it would be fun to own a small business in the downtown area" said Scaggs, who was a stay-at-home mom for the last 18 months. "Downtown has a really cool vibe, and I've always loved coming here."
DeWolfe owned a catering business, in Northhampton, Mass., for 15 years and met Scaggs when she was an It Takes a Village volunteer. The two connected when they saw that the restaurant was for sale and jumped on the opportunity.
"It's been a roller coaster. We've been riding these waves, finding our groove and growth," said Scaggs. "During periods of growth it's a little overwhelming, but we go out of our comfort zone in order to improve the business."
According to the two ladies, they've kept a lot of the menu options the same because the town gave positive feedback regarding the previous menu. However a few aspects have changed, one of which is for a good cause.
Tonight from 5 to 8 p.m. the restaurant will host its first "Feeding Friends-Y," where they will donate 100 percent of the profits to GroundWorks Collaborative. GroundWorks is an organization that provides shelter, supplemental food, and comprehensive support services to families and individuals, many of whom are experiencing homelessness.
Scaggs and DeWolfe plan to offer this community event every first Wednesday of the month and have a list of other groups that they wish to help within the next year.
"We hope that a lot of people will show up to enjoy our delicious food, but also to know that they are helping the organization that we are targeting that month," said Scaggs. "I'm really hoping for a warm community feeling and neighborly dinner service."
These ladies like to think of themselves as "community minded" people and both have donated their time as in-home volunteers to It Takes a Village, a non-profit organization that provides a helping hand for families with new babies.
In addition to the monthly event, the co-owners have doubled their restaurant hours, doubled the portion size of fries, added gluten free soy and peanut sauce options and began to offer haddock from Adam's Seafood as well as homemade mayonnaise, barbecue sauce and baked goods.
The restaurant is in the process of earning its beer and wine license, which the owners hope to attain by mid- to late-December. In the mean time, the two will continue to serve food and make plans to eventually install banquet style seating,
"The challenge of this all is to not lose the cool and funky vibe," said Scaggs.
"I don't want it to be flavorless," added DeWolfe.
Overall, the two feel that the restaurant is going strong and they accredit some of the success to their hardworking chef, Marcel Leclaire.
"This is really rewarding work," said Leclaire. "I like that you get to see a finished product and then it immediately goes out to someone else who can then appreciate it." Leclaire has worked in a kitchen for many years and is also a musician in the area.
Elliot Street Fish, Chips and More is open Tuesday to Saturday 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., and welcomes walk-ins, groups, children and take out orders.