Krebs open Black Trumpet Bistro in Brookings

By Jef Hatch, Pilot staff writer June 23, 2013 10:39 pm

Rob and Kyli Krebs opened the restaurant in May. The Pilot/Jef Hatch
Rob and Kyli Krebs opened the restaurant in May. The Pilot/Jef Hatch
Smaller dishes, fresher ingredients and better food.

That is what Black Trumpet Bistro owners Rob and Kylie Krebs hope sets apart their eatery from other restaurants in Brookings and keeps clients coming back.

The duo opened the Bistro on May 13 and according to them the business is going extremely well.

“We’ve had nothing but major support from this community,” Kylie said. “We love it here.”

Rob added his agreement, “It’s a big deal to have that support.”

The Bistro serves a variety of dishes, mostly Italian in origin, but all are hand-made creations by head chef Rob and his kitchen staff of six.

“Our food is extremely time consuming to prep,” Rob said. “Everything is made from scratch. It’s incredibly labor-intensive.”

Chicken Marsala is the signature dish and according to Rob will remain on the menu, but everything else is subject to change.

“We’ll have specials that change daily,” he explained. “It’s a creative process and I’m proud to serve it.”

The restaurant also sports a full service bar with mixed drinks and regional beers. 

“We’ve got local brewerys’ beers on tap and we also have hard cider on tap,” Kylie said. “We’re the only place in town that has cider on tap.”

According to Kylie she and Rob have been working in the restaurant business for a long time, but the opportunity to become business owners is the realization of a lifelong dream.

“We’ve got 40 years of restaurant experience between us,” Kylie said. “We’ve run big restaurants for other people. So it’s nice to take all that experience and know what works and what doesn’t and wrap it into our own small bistro.” 

And what works for them is “to give the best service, the best quality of food and nail it.”

The path to entrepreneurship was winding for the duo, and involved a stint in the circus for Rob.

“I was working in a kitchen and a coworker came in and asked, ‘Who wants to run away and join the circus?’ ” Rob said. “I didn’t take him that seriously, but a few minutes later my boss came in and told me I was fired.” 

Rob was incredulous and asked his boss what he had done to deserve being fired. His boss told him he had fired him so he would have a reason to go work for the circus as a chef.

“He told me that it was something I needed to do,” Rob said. “So I traveled around the country with the Ringling Bros. circus for one and a half years.” 

The Krebs family (which now includes their son Robert Eugene) moved to Brookings from Aurora, Colo. — after growing up in Reno, Nev. — almost seven years ago as part of changing the scenery in their lives.

“I really wanted to move to Rhode Island,” Kylie said. “But Rob asked me if I would be willing to look at Brookings.” 

Following their wedding and a honeymoon in Hawaii, the two drove into Brookings and for Kylie it was love at first sight.

“We pulled up to the coast and I took a look at it and said ‘who needs Hawaii?’ ” Kylie explained. “I fell in love with it.”

Rob became head chef at Seaview Senior Living Community in Harbor, and Kylie worked as a hostess at a number of local restaurants, but it wasn’t enough creative license for Rob. 

“Being chef and owner is the realization of something I was dreaming of when I was cooking the same food over and over again at other restaurants,” he said. “It was the freedom of flexibility, the freedom to create.”

To give outlet to his creativity the Krebs family originally created Black Trumpet Chef Services, a full service catering company that sought to serve a unique set of clients.

“There was a lack of catering companies that were capable of handling larger parties and keep the quality of the food,” Kylie said. “Some of the other companies were only able to handle about 40 people.”

As the demand for Black Trumpet Chef Services grew, the need to have a full service kitchen grew, too. Rather than lease kitchen space on a case-by-case basis, the Krebses decided to build their own and the Bistro was born.

While road ahead isn’t completely clear for the Krebses, they are dedicated to making their restaurant their life.

“It’s in our blood,” Rob explained. “We’ve been doing this for so long. It’s a lifelong dream.”

“That’s the motivation,” he added. “We’ve finally realized our lifelong dream of owning our own restaurant. We’ve asked for this, it’s what we’ve been looking for our entire life.

“I will always be in the restaurant business, now it’s just mine.”

Black Trumpet Bistro, located at 625 Chetco Ave., is open Monday to Saturday from 12 to 9 p.m. and Sunday from 4 to 8 p.m.