Owners of Bimi's Cheese Shop Expand to Include Farm-to-Table Restaurant | culture: the word on cheese
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Owners of Bimi’s Cheese Shop Expand to Include Farm-to-Table Restaurant

Photography by Christian Harder

Bimi’s Canteen and Bar is not a “cheese restaurant,” but it is a restaurant that serves great cheese. Owners Christopher Landy and Ellen Waggett, who opened Bimi’s Cheese Shop next door in 2014, knew artisan cheese would be featured heavily on the menu, but wanted to include it in a way that felt thoughtful and elevated rather than gimmicky.

The result is a rotating, seasonally-inspired menu boasting some heavy-hitting cheese names. For example, macaroni gratin with Gruyère and pecorino cheeses, a burger topped with broiled Raclette, French onion soup with Challerhocker, and tomato salad with whipped feta and a crispy halloumi waffle.

There is also a “From the Shop” section of the menu for people looking for a true cheese board. Here, still, the focus is on simplicity. There are just two cheeseboards to select from: a “World Slate” featuring a rotating selection of international cheeses and charcuterie, and a “Local Slate” reserved for cheeses made within a 150-mile radius of the restaurant.

The journey to open Bimi’s Canteen began in 2020 when the couple’s landlord approached them with the idea of opening a restaurant in the neighboring store front. While many people might have balked at the suggestion, Landy and Waggett took the idea and ran with it. Both self-proclaimed natural entrepreneurs and project managers, the couple seized the opportunity to create another space for their community to gather and enjoy good food.

With a background in show business—Waggett and Landy also own a lighting and production design company—the couple approached this project with the determination and mindset more often seen in television production than in food service. “Our kids always say the scariest thing we can say is, ‘You know what we should really do…’ Once we get an idea we tend to run with it,” says Waggett.

After taking over the lease in 2020, they soon hit a big roadblock with the pandemic. Restaurants were closing, building materials were hard to come by, and employees were in short supply. It may have taken them three years to finish the project, but it would appear the wait was worth it. Bimi’s Canteen and Bar is an impeccably designed dining experience with thoughtful food and exceptional service.

The interior of Bimi’s Canteen boasts comfy leather chairs, exposed brick walls, and blue accents.

One look at the interior and it’s easy to see Waggett and Landy’s set design expertise on display. Warm recessed lighting, exposed brick walls, and a hidden basement bar with speakeasy vibes set the tone for an excellent night out.

Bimi’s Canteen and Bar opened Its doors in Chatham, New York on June 3, 2023. You can make a reservation here.

Josie Krogh

Josie Krogh is culture's Digital Strategy Lead. She earned her master's degree in Agricultural and Applied Economics from The University of Georgia. Josie developed a love of food while working at farmstands in the D.C. area as a young adult, and discovered her love of cheese while living and working on a dairy farm on Martha's Vineyard. She is passionate about the food supply chain, fresh stone fruit, and dogs. Josie currently lives in Catskill, NY.

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