Longtime Area Restaurateurs Make Charlotte Pop-Up Permanent With Backyard Bistro | Food News | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Longtime Area Restaurateurs Make Charlotte Pop-Up Permanent With Backyard Bistro

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Jill and Adam Spell of Backyard Bistro - COURTESY OF BACKYARD BISTRO
  • Courtesy Of Backyard Bistro
  • Jill and Adam Spell of Backyard Bistro

After 26 years of running La Villa Bistro, Jill and Adam Spell closed their Shelburne restaurant on May 9 and jumped immediately into a new venture in their hometown of Charlotte.

The Spells hope to open Backyard Bistro in early June at Charlotte Crossings on Route 7. The restaurant grew out of weekend pop-ups by the same name that the couple ran there from July through October 2020 after the pandemic curtailed business at La Villa.

"Before COVID hit, we wanted to make some changes in our lives," Jill said. The successful pop-ups showed them how much their neighbors would welcome a casual, sit-down restaurant, which the town currently lacks.

"People really want something down there," Jill continued. "They want a restaurant in their community."

The couple's American fusion menu will include La Villa favorites, such as the Smash Burger, Misty Knoll chicken with maple-bourbon sauce, and Fat Cow Farm Bolognese over housemade fettuccine. Conch fritters, Cajun-spiced dishes and tropical cocktails will recall the couple's former Burlington restaurant, Auggie's Island Grill, which closed in 2007.

The Spells will also offer lobster boiled dinners and family brisket dinners at the restaurant and continue to do off-site catering.

Newly constructed in a walk-out basement, Backyard Bistro will have a large bar and 30 seats for the colder seasons. A tent behind the building will encourage outdoor eating during the summer, and the Spells will host ticketed concerts that customers can hear while eating at reserved tables.

The original print version of this article was headlined "Community Supper"