Jonesing for breakfast on 17th Avenue on a recent weekday, we stopped by WaterCourse Foods, hoping to score some breakfast tacos, a plate of French toast, even a vegan pastry. But sadly, our plans were foiled: The restaurant was dark, and new hours posted indicated that WaterCourse now opens at 11 a.m. on weekdays.
Watercourse, it turns out, has dumped the morning meal in order to concentrate on lunch and dinner dishes. "We were trying to figure out how to incorporate seasonality and local ingredients in this restaurant," explains Dan Landes, who also owns City O' City. "But the reality of operating a restaurant every day from 7 a.m. until 10 p.m. is that it's hard. It was spreading us too thin, and we weren't able to focus on what we were wanted to focus on."
Besides, he notes, City O' City added a full, a la carte breakfast when it opened after its remodel in September -- and that meant the WaterCourse staff could pull back and reconsider the restaurant's focus. By eliminating breakfast, WaterCourse will be able to give the rest of its menu an overhaul.
"The vision is that we'll keep a bigger chef's page, and chef Rachel Kesley will always be utilizing sustainable, organic and local produce," Landes explains. "The main menu, the one that has ingredients from all over the world, is shrinking, so we don't have to have some of those things when they aren't in season."
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The new hours will not only give Kesley more creative space (read her Chef and Tell interview here), but they'll provide Landes with some breathing room. "I've been running restaurants 24/7 for years," he says. "I'm used to being open all the time. WaterCourse was like a moving machine. It's a relief to have a few hours during the day to meet with the staff and take care of things."
If your cravings for veggie breakfasts are WaterCourse specific, fear not: The restaurant will still open at 8 a.m. Friday through Sunday, when the full morning menu will still be available.