SAGINAW, MI – Station 100 is not an old museum, small cafe and ornament as it used to be. After changing his name from Old Christmas Station, Elia Brunner used a brief closure of the restaurant during the coronavirus pandemic to modernize and change the image of restaurants based in Frankenmuth.
Station 100, located at 100 S Main St. in Frankenmuth, it’s not just named after its street address, according to Brunner. Named for the 100 percent satisfaction the restaurant wants, nodding to the restaurant’s roots as the Frankenmuth train station.
“For about a year and a half, we have been working on rebranding,” Brunner said. “We used to be the old Frankenmuth train station, so while we tried to make it a little more modern, a little more modern, we also tried to preserve some historic aspects.”
Brunner has worked with his mother, Barbara, for turning Old Christmas Station into a complete restaurant in 2013. Previously, the small cafe doubles as a museum for Barbara’s antique Christmas ornaments.
The Brunner family first moved to the area from Switzerland in 2011. While they knew they wanted to share their European heritage with the region, they did not anticipate opening a full restaurant when they first settled in Frankenmuth.
“Initially, our intention was not to own a restaurant,” Brunner said. “But we found a niche in Frankenmuth, and we found that guests wanted a better dining experience. They want to sit and drink wine with their food. “
Brunner said he believed the cafe quickly turned into a restaurant because they offered something Frankenmuth had never seen before. Growing up in Switzerland, Brunner’s mother “didn’t even know what processed food was,” he explained. So, when they opened what would become Station 100, customers were surprised that everything was homemade.
“We offer so much European food, and nothing is processed,” Brunner said. “Almost all the recipes come from my mother, and we do everything by hand, from the start. People embrace what we have. “
To meet customer demand for a fine dining experience, Station 100 received a liquor license in 2015. Brunner has also been a certified restaurant and restaurant coordinator through Les Roches, hospitality schools and management with campuses around the world.
While on the Chicago school campus, Brunner works at Roister, a Michelin 1-Star restaurant owned by Brunner’s culinary idol, Grant Achatz. At the end of his education, Brunner had worked in luxury restaurants in Chicago, Switzerland, Tanzania and more.
“Now, I’ve brought everything I learned back to Frankenmuth,” Brunner said. “There is not much in that area which is fine cuisine with quality food and quality food prepared in a way where nothing is frozen or processed.”
To better meet those needs, Brunner has been trying to give Station 100 a face lift and renovate restaurant interiors during a pandemic. In addition, they now serve around 90 different wines, and “look fresher. It looks more classy and elegant, “according to Brunner.
About why he believes more locals should visit Station 100, Brunner said, “This is the best food. Our love and passion for preparing quality food shows. “
Station 100 is open Monday from 16:00 to 21:00, Wednesday to Thursday from 16:00 to 21:00, Friday from 16:00 to 22:00, Saturday from noon to 22:00 and Sunday from noon until 6:00 p.m.
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