Buon Gusto expansion dishes up a fresh serving of European flair in the heart of downtown Brighton

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Bartender Nancy Skinner, owner Kraig York, and server Lindsay Hunt are ready for customers at the downtown Brighton restaurant/PHOTO: AILEEN WINGBLAD

Buon Gusto’s new lounge, designed to reflect the look and atmosphere of old world Tuscany, completes the vision Fran York had for the place she and her husband, Kraig, purchased last June.

“It’s a dream that came true,” Fran said. “We wanted something unique; we wanted to bring something new and inviting to downtown Brighton.”

Indeed. With its main wall and ceiling built with wood salvaged from aged bourbon whiskey bottles, upper beams from century-old hand-hewn barn wood and lights made with reclaimed hay trolleys and Crown Royal bottles, custom stone work and a large bar and tabletops crafted with repurposed black walnut, no creativity was spared to make the new lounge everything the Yorks expected it to be.

This group of friends recently enjoyed lunch in Buon Gusto’s new lounge/PHOTO: AILEEN WINGBLAD

“We just wanted a different atmosphere, a ‘rustic Italy’ look, like it was something built many years ago,” Kraig said.
It took about six months to construct the lounge, which opened March 7, adding 30 seats to the 48 in the main restaurant. And with the extra room, the Yorks have resolved an issue they had been dealing with — needing a place for customers to hang out while waiting for a table during peak times.

The new lounge, designed to present an “old Tuscany” atmosphere, opened March 7 and adds seating for 30 more guests/PHOTO: AILEEN WINGBLAD

“Sometimes we were turning people away when we’d get busy,” Kraig said. “We’d send them elsewhere to get a drink and then call them back when a table was ready…now it’s nice to have a place where they can wait — or even get full service if they want.”

Of course, Buon Gusto is about more than its looks, he added.

“We’re very explicit with the staff, we’re very explicit with the food,” Kraig said. “We want you to walk out saying you had the best meal ever.”

Buon Gusto prides itself on dishes made from scratch, with all-organic chicken and grass-fed beef, wild-caught fish and locally-sourced produce. No soy ,corn or GMO products are used, and many gluten-free items are available. Garrett Dietz, head chef with the restaurant’s previous owners, is back in that role for the Yorks, too, and said he loves “experimenting” with different flavors and ingredients, as well as adding new selections to the menu. Customer favorites include rolled pasta with beef, seafood linguine and the variety of antipastos,  he said.

“We’re a family here, preserving a new sense of tradition,” Dietz said. “And when I come out (of the kitchen) and see the smiles on people’s faces, that makes it all worth it.”

Buon Gusto is located at 501 W. Main St. in downtown Brighton.
Phone (810) 229-7770.
Check out Buon Gusto’s Facebook page