MILWAUKEE - A Milwaukee chef could've just sold her restaurant, but instead, she's giving it away to help another local chef expand her business, a restaurant rooted in soul.
Just months into the coronavirus pandemic, FOX6 News introduced you to Caitlin Cullen and The Tandem restaurant near 18th and Fond du Lac in Milwaukee. She set aside normal operations and offered free meals to those in need until deciding to move on last summer, but Cullen opted not to sell.
Much like those meals, she gave it away.
"Giving away the restaurant was kind of my way of saying, ‘Somebody needs to fill this space,’" said Cullen. "I don't want to profit off the time that we spent here, and I want to pass it on to someone else."
That someone else is Rosetta Bond.
"It's been a lot. It's been breathtaking," said Bond.
The soul food chef runs a catering and take-out business, 1700 Pull Up, out of her home, but The Tandem space, already equipped for a restaurant, should help her business grow.
"I know it's gonna be a massive transition from my house to here," said Bond. "I do serve a lot of people at my house on the daily, but I know it's gonna be massive when I come in here."
And in doing so, she hopes to carry on The Tandem's legacy, connecting with the community over comfort food.
"I think because folks now know it's there and know what kind of spirit we built about community, that'll live on forever, especially with Chef Ro at the helm," said Cullen.
Chef Bond plans to make this space her own with some renovations, expanding the bar and maybe adding some booths. She hopes to open the space around Mother's Day, and she'll need more help to open up, including employees and donations.
Anyone interested should email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.