One of Bakersfield’s oldest buildings is undergoing a restoration. Next week, the century-old historic sight on 1800 Chester Ave. in Downtown Bakersfield will officially be transformed into a brand-new restaurant.
“I felt that Bakersfield deserved to have a place that had handmade quality food,” said Maya Tsiboukas, co-owner of the soon-to-be restaurant 18hundred (Sic) restaurant. She and her husband Foti plan to run the restaurant together.
Built in 1913, the building was first established as the Security Trust Bank, according to Ken Hooper, president of the Kern County Historical Society.
“It was a pretty cutting edge building, pretty cutting edge business,” Hooper said of the century-old establishment. He noted the building experienced its fare share over the last century, including some difficult moments in recent times.
“It had burnt in a fire, and the roof had collapsed,” he said, adding “…it filled with pigeons; it was fit for destruction, and the owner took it upon himself to re-do it and re-purpose it. I think most people in Bakersfield are very excited to see that,” he continued.
The Tsiboukases hope to bring “quality food that tastes great, but also that come with quality ingredients. Our burgers will be made with grass-fed beef, out coffee and tea are all organic, we are baking all of our baked goods in house by hand,” Maya said.
Tsiboukas shared that the facility also is a bar and will be open seven days per week, something that thrills Hooper.
“I’m excited to eat some food in a nice new historic building, and see where it goes,” Hooper, a teacher at Bakersfield High School, said.
“It brings jobs for the people who live here, as well as safe places for the people to dine and spend time with your family, and if this becomes another cultural hub the way it should be, this city will be on the map to rival any other big city,” said Tsiboukas.
Tsiboukas said the restaurant will officially open next week. She plans to make the official announcement on the restaurant’s Facebook and Instagram accounts.