In late autumn 2010, Sandy Heyman saw an opportunity to fill a need in Burns and decided to take a chance.
“We didn’t have a place to eat at noon here in town,” she said.
Although she had no previous restaurant experience, she began making plans for a home-style café. Heyman had a lot of experience cooking for church and family events, and she thought it could be fun to open a restaurant, so she opened Red Brick Café in February at 105 S. Church St.
“This is a learning experience,” Heyman said.
She began practicing with specially invited guests before opening in February.
“If it hadn’t been for the people who helped me, it wouldn’t have been possible to get going this quick.”
People in the community and surrounding areas have been supportive, Heyman said.
The building the restaurant is in has a long history. It was built as the Burns High School vocational and agricultural classroom. When the high school closed, it was converted into a cafeteria for the elementary school and served as a community center. Its final function before becoming Red Brick Café was as a food bank.
Heyman had been considering opening the restaurant in a different building, but that would have required adding a kitchen. When the food bank closed, the building on Church Street became the ideal location, because it already had a kitchen that met many of Heyman’s needs.
The restaurant serves familiar breakfast and lunch staples and daily specials with a goal of being as much like a home-cooked meal as possible. On Saturday nights, the menu includes a bit fancier fare, such as prime rib and chicken-fried steak.
Red Brick Café is open 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday and 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Saturday.