Have you HIRD yet? Bridgeview Café is OPENING!
by Cate Murway
Every day is a breakfast day at the JEM owned Bridgeview Café!
Mary Catherine Scheetz Hird proudly presents her own small-town gathering spot, the kind of café where 'everyone knows your name'…. or will soon!
Philadelphia is a city steeped in American history, and that history is reflected in its various neighborhoods.
There are at least two versions of how Bridesburg got its name. The first centers on Joseph Kirkbride who settled in the area in 1801. As the operator and owner of the bridge across the Frankford Creek, Kirkbride accumulated enough money to purchase large tracts of land in what was then called Point No Point. The name of the area soon became Kirkbridesburg, the burg coming from the German ethnic character of the community. As this version of the story goes it was shortened to Bridesburg.
A second version rests on the tradition in the Frankford Community of brides going to the river community for what today would be called a "honeymoon."
Mary’s USP [Unique Selling Point]? Her very trendy, gem of a café nestled in Bridesburg, located between the Delaware River and the Frankford Creek, has been expertly customized and renovated by her husband William Thomas Hird, Jr., whom she met on a ski trip. Bill’s “Hird Construction Group, LLC” has owned several restaurants, startup bars and real estate over the years. They were married December 2014.
Bill has made the Bridgeview Café a truly unique blend of contemporary design and urban chic with its décor of black [Mary’s go-to fashion color] tastefully augmented by earthy, welcoming terra cotta painted walls.
“Primitives by Kathy” provides the “interesting conversation pieces”, all positive ‘box sayings’ wall signs that are actually for sale. A veteran creatively crafted a lighted bridge that also commands a wall.
The professionally stripped and stained hard wood flooring was originally Syracuse University‘s gym floor and it now sports Bill’s hand painted coffee cup.
The team definitely puts dreams into action, harnessing their creativity and dynamic energy.
“Don’t call it a dream. Call it a Plan!” Mary shares a favorite saying.
P.S. You CAN actually see the Betsy Ross Bridge at the Bridgeview Café!
Mary’s business partner is her husband, Bill’s best friend John’s younger brother, Michael Thomas Zwiercan, Sr. Mike and his wife, Erin already own the Jack Duggan’s Pub at the Philadelphia International Airport but they were ardently looking for alternate streams of income.
The men were all born and raised in Bridesburg.
Bill and Mike bought the building in July 2016 and Mary and Mike are partners in the Bridgeview Café.
Professionally, Mary has chosen to call Bridesburg home!
She and Mike are involved with the Bridesburg Civic and Business Associations.
As a very strong academic student /athlete, Mary served as both the Villa Joseph Marie H.S. Student Council treasurer and the sergeant-at-arms while excelling in soccer, basketball and softball. She even adeptly completed BCCC courses during her senior year.
Mary Catherine, VJM ‘85 and her sisters, Colleen Marie Jaconetti, VJM ‘89 and Anne Christine Damon, Esq., VJM ‘93 are all Villa Joseph Marie graduates.
Laurie M. McBrinn, VJM English Department Chair taught all three of the Scheetz girls.
Ms. McBrinn confirmed, “Considering her energy, enthusiasm, and persistence, I am not surprised that Mary would be in business for herself. I will not be surprised that her business will be a huge success. She was always very determined.”
The former VJM Principal [1982-2001] Sister M. Elaine S.S.C. recalls Mary as “a go-getter. She was out to accomplish things but Mary truly cared about other people while she was out to do and get things done.”
Mary continued her education at Dickinson College and played collegiate soccer, earning her B.A. English and Political Science degrees before entering Widener University to earn her MBA.
“I never wanted to be an entrepreneur. I never saw myself in business.”
She started her career consulting for MCI call centers, but it was a mentor who suggested that she start her own business.
“Golden Rule” was her first customer in her all 1099 Professional Services group.
She also worked at Xerox with the support teams for CVS and Aetna clients until 2016.
When Mary’s mother became very ill, she abruptly changed career plans to take care of her mom.
Now Mary and Mike are wholeheartedly investing their time and energy into launching the Bridgeview Café based on their staunch personal principles and values.
“Alright then, the café will be woman owned and I’ll work my women’s network and give back to the community. Full steam ahead and three steps back. This is a whole new world for me!”
She succeeds with total dedication and her noticeably classy characteristics that are both flexible and charming.
Mary created the entire café menu and traditional, homemade ingredients are a strong suit.
For starters, they will serve Polish Eggs Benedict with Czerw’s finest quality old-fashioned Polish kielbasa smoked in old-fashioned brick ovens using only seasoned, natural fruit woods, instead of serving Canadian bacon.
Jan Czerw converted a horse stable into a shop and built the brick oven smoke houses himself. Czerw's Kielbasa still stands in that original spot, still proudly uses the same recipes and the same brick ovens built almost 70 years ago.
Or choose to enjoy a freshly baked bagel or the very tempting Challah Bread French Toast. Accompany your homemade Belgium waffle with a choice of classic breakfast meats including Taylor Pork roll, turkey bacon, Canadian bacon and pork sausage and of course, kielbasa!
Additional healthy alternatives include cooked quinoa and the very best recipes for egg white breakfasts with loads of flavor.
“Most of the breakfast dishes and entrees are named after bridges.”
One of the special luncheon provisions is a kielbasa and sauerkraut sandwich on a rye roll with fresh whole grain mustard aioli and fresh chives. Bread products are baked daily on the Lipkin’s Bakery premises, a staple along Castor Avenue, Kosher baking at its best since 1975.
Others are their Quinoa Portobello burger or their House Blend burger. “We’ve come up with a Polish burger that is ½ smoked kielsbasa and ½ beef with Swiss cheese on a country roll”, Mike shared, “and fresh fried potato chips with every sandwich.”
Looking for lighter fare? Try their Greek salad or Apple pear and spiced walnut salad.
Cold sandwiches [customers can build their own classic sandwich] are served with chips and Zayda's kosher spicy pickles. You’re always eatin’ good with them!
Kids’ menus of grilled cheese, spaghetti & meatballs, quesadilla with salsa and sour cream or chicken tenders, all come with chips and drinks.
Dairy-free alternatives of soy milk, almond milk and coconut milk will be menu staples.
Mary added, “We’ll also serve ‘Billy’s Chili’, [my husband’s specialty], French Onion Soup and a ‘Seasonal soup of the day’.”
Mary and Mike are committed to specializing in good meals with comforting tastes, and homemade breakfast and lunch favorites with an interesting, delicious flair. All of their menu items will include appealing breakfast and lunch selections prepared with prime Angus beef, and Hatfield and George L. Wells Meat Co. quality meats, artisan coffees and teas, the freshest pastries and great hand dipped ice cream choices, banana splits and milkshakes.
They boast catering and venue rental offerings as well.
Mary is a strong advocate of everything Entrepreneurial, especially Women Entrepreneurial ventures. “I’m following in my father’s footsteps.” Make a Job—Don’t Just Take a Job!
Mary unselfishly volunteers her invaluable time and expertise and mentors teens from the ages of 12-17 for YEA!, the Young Entrepreneurs Academy, a charitable, tax-exempt organization that fosters the spirit of entrepreneurship and innovation among today’s youth. She teaches middle and high school go-getters how to start and run their own, REAL businesses.
“Always know your numbers.”
Many of her vendors are women entrepreneurs.
Dawn Lewis provides her artisan brewed Chaikhana Chai and concentrate and loose leaf teas.
“She has a great product. Customers can choose their own tea and it is placed in a netted bag to brew.”
Linda and Kelly McGrath’s “Honey’s” creates the cakes, cupcakes, Danish donuts and pastry, a selection of cookies including oatmeal raisin, chocolate chip and snickerdoodles, and brownies and cupcakes and more, oh my!
Extra food supplies will be generously donated to the local shelter.
Mary promises to provide something special to distinguish her café from competitors.
Bridgeview Café exudes a warm and inviting atmosphere peppered with her outgoing, genuine and quite candid character. AND Box lunches and free Wi-Fi!
For the many people who work on-the-go and need a favorite spot to relax and recharge or just to gain inspiration, having a strong Wi-Fi signal and fast connection is definitely top of their list. These crowds have also become more particular and savvy about the beans and leaves that make their drinks. Coffee and tea appreciation is at a new high. Mary sought out the best!
Co-founder/owner Tucker McHugh’s Caffe Appassionato Specialty Coffee Roasting Company is an award-winning Seattle company that buys the finest green coffee, roasts the beans slowly, and sells to up-scale cafés. Judged Best Morning Coffee by the Pacific Northwest Tasting Competition, Bridgeview Café will be offering their full-bodied “Morning Passion” as their own house coffee and “Bluff Blend” as the French flavor.
Mary understands that customers head to cafés to meet people or sometimes to brainstorm for ideas so she is prepared to provide the perfect mix of calm and commotion in her comfortable, sociable café. It’s a gathering spot away from home and work. That alone can boost creativity.
And Mary’s café will make available an array of good magazines, along with music and television- that should instantly earn an additional 10 points for the Bridgeview Café!
Oh, and ask Mary about their Customer Loyalty Program.
Come unwind and see some familiar faces….. Strangers are just friends waiting to happen!
Enjoy the friendly staff, laughter and food with new and old friends and family.
Planned opening is the week of March 12th. “Look forward to meeting you!”
Café hours are Monday – Friday 5:00am- 4:00pm and Saturday & Sunday 6:00AM- 4:00pm
*Cater onsite and offsite. Will rent out the venue and host private parties/ business meetings after 4:30pm.
Gift certificates are available.
Bridgeview Café & Catering, LLC
4600 Richmond Street
Philadelphia, PA 19137
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