Bistro on 12th sold to former manager and her fiance

Bistro's former manager, fiancee buy downtown eatery

sfrater@bradenton.comMarch 7, 2013 

BRADENTON -- In the The Who's classic 1971 rock anthem hit, "Won't Get Fooled Again," the final line is "Meet the new boss, same as the old boss."

In a local case of life imitating art, the 22-seat Main Street eatery, formerly known as Bistro on 12th, was sold Wednesday afternoon to Palmetto residents Jeanne Wilson and Michael Wimette. Wilson was "formerly the Bistro's manager under a previous owner," said Wimette.

"She is planning on keeping the cafe's two employees, but will downsize the menu," he said.

One item Wilson intends to re-introduce from her prior stint at the Bistro is the braid, baked dough, "laid flat with chicken, or say turkey and cranberry."

The couple are taking over an existing lease on the old Main Street property at 417 12th Street, #101 from the previous owner who was also a manager under Werner Beck, the Bistro's original owner.

It was a year ago this month that the restaurant last changed hands when Melissa Hays, who worked under Beck, bought the eatery. It officially opened March 1, 2012.

It was Hays who expanded the menu, Wilson will go back to the basic items.

Wimette won't be part of the new management team since he works at Bradenton's Tropicana Products packaging facility, "making bottles."

While the decor and furnishings will remain the same, the new business's eponymic "name is now Jeanne's Bistro on 12th," he said. The restaurant will be open for business on Monday for breakfast and lunch, six days a week.

Mike Carter is the property owner and landlord, according to Manatee property records. He also owns several adjoining business units near the Bistro.

The business partners, who invested $10,000 and assumed the undisclosed terms of the lease, are also life partners, and plan to be wed in May.

Stephen Frater, senior business reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7095.

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