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Tall order: Years of learning, hard work have brought German couple to open restaurant, deli and bakery in Lehigh

May 30, 2012
By MEL TOADVINE ( , Lehigh Acres Citizen

If you've ridden through the parking lot of the Village in Lehigh, a tall building just off of Taylor Lane Extension, you may have noticed the giant lettering on the building with the names of Bistro Rudy and downstairs, Bavarian Deli & Bakery. They are two new businesses in Lehigh and are open for business.

Owner Rudy Fers and his wife, Maria Fers, said they purchased the prior restaurant and it is under new management,.

"We have completely renovated the inside, everything is new, including the kitchen and the appearance. And we have opened up another dining room, twice as large as the previous lone dining room.

Article Photos

New Bistro Rudy exterior is now open for business.

"It's very nice and the people who are dining with us compliment us all the time about our food. We appreciate that and it is our aim to make the best dinner meal possible," said Fers.

He and his wife are from Germany. That is where Rudy worked hard to get all the required courses and accommodations making him a truly great chef.

"In Germany, you have to spend several years before you can be called a chef," he said. "When you pass all the test and do all the work, they will certify you as a chef."

The second floor restaurant named in Rudy's name can be accessed by stairs or by elevator.

"For those who don't want up the steps, they can easily use the elevator and come to the second floor. The elevator is easily seen from the front of the building," he said.

And downstairs, Rudy and his wife, Maria, with the help of Chef Ula Neumann, who is the pastries and bakery chef, excellent food and desserts are served.

"We open the downstairs deli and bakery from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day of the week except for Monday.

"It's a great place for our local businessmen and women to stop by and have a great cup of coffee. And for lunch, we have some really good inexpensive selections, including a buffet bar," Rudy, as his friends call him, said.

"We have an excellent salad downstairs at the deli. You should try it. You can put anything on it at the buffet bar. It is very fresh and delicious," he said.

The Bistro Rudy, which is on the second floor, atop the deli, is open from 4 to 9 p.m. every day but Monday.

"We like to tell people we are the tall building behind the Burger King," Rudy said.

When diners come to our bistro on the second floor for dinner, they are amazed that we have two dining rooms. Before the owners had only one dining room.

"Bet we took what was a very, very large office, and turned it into a very large dining room. It is decorated well and has an excellent atmosphere," Rudy said.

Also on the second floor, is an outside patio where diners can eat when the weather is nice, which is nice during early evenings. Tables outside are covered with attractive tablecloths.

As for the menu at Bistro Rudy's, there is just about anything a diner may want including all types of foods from seafood, steaks, pasta to German foods.

Rudy said most of those who come to dine are Americans, but he also has a good following of Germans who live in Lehigh and enjoy dining there, too.

"It all begins at $9 for a selection. You can't beat that," Rudy said.

He said that the word "bistro" is a French word meaning a place to rest and eat. Many have used the word for a restaurant in the U.S., but it not commonplace in Germany.

Rudy and his wife have lived in Lehigh for six months. They have two children, two sons. One is a chef in Naples and the other is a chef in Germany.

"Friends of ours called me one night in Germany and said he though there may be a restaurant in Lehigh Acres that we might be interested in. That is how we came to take over the restaurant.

"We have done a lot of renovations and we invite everyone to come by and have a meal with us. We have a friendly staff and we will accommodate whatever you have a taste for.

"In fact, it there are several in your party, like 10 or more, give us a call so we can make plans," Rudy said. "During Season, diners had to make reservations usually on the weekends and we had lots of people come to eat at our restaurant," he said.

In addition, Rudy operates a catering service. He urges those interested in that service to call him and they can sit down and decide the menus he would be asked to serve.

"We want to stress that most of the food we prepare here is American food. They are the majority of our clients," he said. You can call the Bistro Rudy at 1251 Taylor Lane Extension at 239-303-1114.

"We are very casual here, too," Rudy said. "Not necessary for coats and ties, just a relaxed casual attire is fine. We also have our liquor licenses and we have a fine assortment of wines," he said.

"A lot of our clients have parties here, things like anniversaries, birthday parties, graduation parties, weddings. We are happy to help you make plans if you want to get a group together like a reunion or any other type of celebration," he said.

"We believe that if you come and dine with us, that you will be back," Rudy said.

"After all, we are here to accommodate your taste and give you want you want," he said.



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