A lot has changed at 334 North Main.
The storage room has become a beautiful dining room.
The dining room has become a hip bar.
The name has changed, twice.
And today, a brand new menu is being introduced.
But there is one thing that will never change, according to owner Shelly Anderson.
"We still serve, and will always serve, the one and only Tower pizza."
What's in a name
Blackbird Bistro spent nearly 50 years doing business as Tower Pizza. When Anderson took ownership she wanted to make sure the restaurant did at least 50 more.
She applied for a bistro license, which would allow her to serve liquor.
"Everyone was asking me for a beer with their pizza," Anderson said, "I'm happy that people can now have their favorite beer with their favorite pizza."
Modeled in part after an ordinance in Birmingham, Rochester's bistro ordinance is designed to allow smaller restaurants to receive a liquor license. They encourage business development and reinvestment; in order to receive one, the business must commit to invest $75,000 in renovations or upgrades.
Anderson's first thought was to change the name to Tower Bistro but that seemed to lead to some confusion about what exactly happened to the pizza.
So the name changed again— this time to Blackbird Bistro featuring Tower Pizza.
"I had the vision of the bird on a branch with one red leaf," Anderson said. "And that's where the name came from."
The new menu
Blackbird Bistro's new dinner menu features six different entrees that accommodate all tastes.
Anderson's personal favorite is the signature catfish dish with capers, roasted red peppers and a butter sauce.
"I don't even consider myself a fish person but this dish is amazing," Anderson said.
Another favorite is lamb served with goat cheese and a fig glaze. Steak and pasta entrees round out the menu.
The lunch menu includes homemade soups and sandwiches, like a grilled honey-lime chicken sandwich topped with a five-veggie slaw.
And, of course, there is the pizza. In addition to the standards, there are specialty pizzas like spinach/feta, BBQ chicken and shrimp pesto.
Sunday brunch and other entertainment
Blackbird Bistro also serves a Sunday brunch each week from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Local farmers provide the milk, cream and eggs. The maple syrup served is even more than local; it's from trees once owned and tapped by Anderson's grandfather.
The Sunday brunch includes live acoustic music.
A DJ rocks the house on Saturday nights and karaoke takes place on Thursdays.
Blackbird Bistro is located at 334 N. Main. It is open daily for lunch and dinner. Call 248-651-4660 with questions.