By Chris Bavender
When Mary Watkins decided to open a bistro, she knew exactly where to go and why – Whitestown.
“Location, location, location. Whitestown is an up-and-coming community and is growing by leaps and bounds,” Watkins said.
Watkins spent a few months remodeling the building at 4 N. Main St. before having a soft opening for the White Stallion Italian Bistro March 8. A grand opening will be held in May.
“Soft because I recently retired and now just want to enjoy the journey and serve some of the atmosphere and foods that I have experienced,” said Watkins, who previously worked in the food industry in northern Indiana.
The bistro can seat 99 inside. A patio set to open in late spring or early summer will seat at least another 50.
Watkins said she chose the restaurant’s name because a stallion is a symbol of “different things in different cultures.”
“I chose the name for that reason and the idea of it being fairy-tale-like. In my travels, I have had the opportunity to experience different atmospheres and cultures, and I find I like the European styles more than others,” she said. “When people visit, they will notice a European flare in style and eventually that will flow over into a full menu of classic dishes of Italian, French and classic American as well.”
The bistro serves pizza and sandwiches. A full-time chef is coming on board in April. Watkins plans to update the former pub into a non-smoking family restaurant by the spring of 2018. But for now, it is a 21-and-older restaurant.
“Response has been amazing. The first weekend was a smashing success in many areas,” she said. “I’m sure the upcoming weeks ahead will be even more successful.”
The White Stallion Bistro is open from 4 to 10 p.m. Wed., Thurs., Fri. and Sat. The hours and days will change after the May grand opening.