BERLIN — The Globe in Berlin turns 5-years-old this weekend, and like a child reaching the same age, it is all at once confident, creative and expressive while still growing and evolving into its full potential.
Five years is a fairly long time for a restaurant and many have come and gone since owner and operator Jennifer Dawicki David and her partners took over the historic establishment in 2006. Since then, it has grown up before the community’s eyes. Like any small child, The Globe stumbled a little and took some bumps and bruises along the way before blossoming into what it has become.
Like most 5-year-olds, The Globe is self-assured and artistic with its legs firmly under it, ready to adjust and adapt to what happens next. The analogy is not lost on Dawicki David, who this week drew parallels between the evolution of her highly successful business and the growth of a child.
“One of my biggest pleasures is watching the children in the neighborhood grow up,” she said. “We’ve had pregnant moms come in and the next thing you know, they’re bringing the child in for his first birthday party and then maybe before or after his first day of school. I thought I’d be part of the community, but I didn’t really realize that it’s happened.”
Dawicki David and Mitchell David, along with Tim and Jamie Jones, took over the historic Globe Theater in Berlin in 2006 and quickly turned it into a social hub in the rejuvenated downtown area. First and foremost, The Globe is a first-class restaurant with an eclectic menu featuring everything from fine dining for a special occasion to a burger and a beer with friends at the Copper Top bar and everything in between.
Beyond its appeal as a restaurant, The Globe offers so much more, including locally produced works of art adorning the walls, to performance art and from concerts to classic movies in the old theater section of the historic building. For example, the works of art currently on display feature a local artist who won a recent contest with a personal show as the prize. The works of other renowned local artists including Berlin’s own Patrick Henry adorn the walls.
For Dawicki David, keeping it local, from the farm-fresh produce and ingredients on the menu to the art that decorates the restaurant, is part of the appeal of The Globe.
“We’re locally owned, loved and operated,” she said. “That’s what makes us what we are.”
It’s no secret the success of The Globe coincides with the ongoing renaissance in Berlin.
“We’re kind of growing together,” she said. “As Berlin grows and embraces its culture and history, so do we.”
While Dawicki David can be seen bustling around the restaurant just about every day and practically every hour it is opened, her original partners are still very much involved in the business operation. A talented crew from the back of the house to the front, including bar manager Greg David, is very much involved in the creative process.
“As much as people think I’m the face of The Globe, I’m really surrounded by a great support staff,” she said. “I’ve always tried to surround myself with great people and that’s what we have going on at The Globe.”
Perhaps the biggest new addition to the staff occurred in 2009 when the Globe was able to add Executive Chef Duane Douglas to the fold.
“Timing is everything, I do believe that, and the addition of Duane has been outstanding for us,” she said. “He brings quality and consistency, and if you can have those two things simultaneously, you have the foundation for a great restaurant.”
Dawicki David said it didn’t take long for Douglas to fit right in at the restaurant.
“He’s 100-percent Globe material,” she said. “His demeanor, his attitude and work ethic are just great and at the same time, he likes to have fun. That carries over into what we do here.”
What they do at The Globe is a continuation and expansion of what the prior owners started years ago. Several years ago, the Patton family, including Kate and her father Tom and mother Judy, rescued the nearly 100-year-old theater and restored it, creating a gallery, lunch restaurant and retail store of sorts in the space. In 2006, Dawicki and her partners took The Globe to a new level.
“The Pattons left a legacy at this venue and for me to be able to continue that is an honor and a privilege,” she said. “There’s a careful balance of preserving what we have while allowing it to grow and become something different. That’s something I’m very cognizant of.”
Like a wide-eyed child of five, the Globe is starting to realize its full potential.
“After five years, we’ve discovered what works for us in terms of the menu and how to best utilize the space, but it’s a never-ending process,” she said. It’s really a constant evolution.”