Crepe Bistro owner says business ‘was at a peak’ before close

Paulina Firozi, Campus Editor

Dimitry Bushmakin, owner of Crepe Bistro, is concerned about the lingering legacy of his business.

Crepe Bistro was one of the Norris University Center dining services, along with Jamba Juice and Sbarro, that closed before Fall Quarter began.

The services will be replaced by Frontera Fresco, a quick-service branch of Chicago-based Frontera Grill that is scheduled to open at the end of October.

Julie Payne-Kirchmeier, vice president of student affairs for student auxiliary services, said in a Sept. 10 article in The Daily that surveys had continually reported negative feedback on Crepe Bistro’s menu items. Students, she said, complained of low-quality food, which resulted in a loss of revenue for the restaurant.

Bushmakin, however, said this was not true.

Though he said he could not necessarily comment on how people felt about the quality of food, he noted Crepe Bistro was in fact gaining revenue.

“We were up 40 percent compared to 2010 and every year we have been growing immensely,” he said. “It was crazy.”

The restaurant, which was widely known for its $1.25 Crepe Happy Hour, was “at the peak” of business in the six years it were at Northwestern, Bushmakin said.

Revenue had increased from about $22,000 a month in 2010 to $40,000 a month in 2012, he added.

Bushmakin said although the University notified him August 8 that the restaurant was slated to close August 22, he “was not bitter” about the situation. At that point, he said he knew there was nothing to do to change the fate of Crepe Bistro, which would only be open for two more weeks.

He just wanted people to remember the business for having done well, he said.

Payne-Kirchmeier could not be reached for comment at time of press.

Bushmakin also said he and his wife, Olga Mikailin, want to thank NU and Sodexo for six years of good business.

“When it’s time for a change, it’s time for a change. What can you do?” he said. “We are happy for Frontera and we are excited for students that they get to try Frontera grill.”

Paulina Firozi