‘Black Market Bistro’ attracts crowd

FAIRMONT – “It’s been interesting,” Isaac Stevens says of his first days of running Black Market Bistro. “Kind of crazy, but interesting.”

Stevens debuted his bistro trailer during Interlaken Heritage Days last month. Since then, the truck has become a fixture at Second and North Main streets downtown.

While Stevens originally planned to be open for lunch and dinner, it turned out demand was greater than expected.

“We sold out,” Stevens said of his first lunch at the new location. “One of the last customers at 2 p.m. ordered one of the last things we had.”

For now, Stevens will concentrate on lunches, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., serving Monday through Saturday.

“We originally planned for dinner three times per week, but I’m needing more prep time,” Stevens said.

He has 15 years in the restaurant business, but this is his first time solo.

“I’ve always wanted to do this, but it was just finding the way to do it,” he said.

Stevens hopes to find a balance between work and family.

“A restaurant is a huge commitment,” he said. “Would I be able to spend time with my family and still be able to do the food my way?”

The main challenge for him was learning how to operate in a much smaller space.

“It’s different having a 16-by-18 trailer when you’re used to having a whole building,” said Stevens’ wife, Jenna.

But the support the Bistro has received so far has been worth it.

“We’ve been very well received,” Stevens said. “The city has been supportive getting our power, Frontier with the water access. Everyone has come together and encouraged us. We even got a picnic table out there now, although we need to get an umbrella, because it does get hot out there. But now people have a place to sit.”

There are already some dishes that are local favorites, such as the Philly cheesesteaks, but Stevens has plans to broaden the menu.