Owner hopes new bistro feels like home

Photos courtesy Rachel Aders
Operating from the historic Wollenmann home in Ferdinand, Soup-N-Such Bistro owner Tammy Bedolla says the new restaurant will be open every day but Mondays and will feature a menu centered on the Mediterranean diet.

By ALLEN LAMAN
alaman@dcherald.com

FERDINAND — A new business will begin operating from the historic Wollenmann Home in Ferdinand when Soup-N-Such Bistro opens later this month. The owner wants the restaurant to be a gathering place for the community.

Soup-N-Such, located at 1150 Main St., will be open every day but Mondays and will feature a menu centered on the Mediterranean diet. That means soups, salads and paninis. Other dishes, including a hamburger and various wraps, will also be sold at the new dining destination. Breakfast will be served Saturday and will include biscuits and gravy, homemade cinnamon rolls, breakfast breads and other baked goods.

“It’s going to be really good food,” said Tammy Bedolla, the restaurant’s owner and chef. “And the atmosphere, I want it to be like you’re coming home. Like you can sit down and just relax. I want to have some nice, easy-listening music.”

The Wollenmann Home, a Swiss chalet, was built in 1903 and has been through quite a bit in the 115 years since. Before it was the Monkey Hollow Bistro, the home survived 11 children growing up in its halls and was time and again expanded, repaired and renovated.

Soup-N-Such will officially open for business on Friday, Aug. 24. Operating hours are 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday. Events can be scheduled by reservation outside those operating hours.

Bedolla beat thyroid cancer four years ago, and the experience made her realize life is short — too short to do something you don’t like. Opening a restaurant like Soup-N-Such is something she’s wanted to do her entire life.

She’s won about a dozen awards for her baking at the Ferdinand Heimatfest and the Huntingburg Herbstfest, and her vegetable soup recipe was published in Rural Electric Magazine. Her past jobs include being a chef at Cool Beans in Huntingburg, making food for more than 1,000 kids at Perry Central High School, catering and more.

Bedolla now lives in Jasper with her husband, Martin, but hopes to move to Ferdinand after getting clearance to move in above Soup-N-Such. Her adult daughter, Rachel Aders, is a cake decorator and will help with desserts at the bistro.

Bedolla grew up in Birdseye and graduated from Forest Park High School in 1985. She sees her return to Ferdinand as a kind of homecoming. She’d been to Monkey Hollow Bistro — which operated at the Wollenmann Home from late 2014 to January 2018 — but was still taken aback by its beauty when she inquired about taking over the space.

“I want this to be shared with everybody because it is a historical place,” Bedolla said. “I want everybody to be able to come in, read the signs, and just have a little piece of history that they can learn something ... I think everything in the past, we should learn from it and use it for the future.”

She and Martin are both musically talented — they both play guitar and she likes to sing — and Bedolla is looking forward to performing at the bistro as well as inviting other musicians in to perform. Maybe the Bedollas will play before or after a musician starts playing, or maybe on Sundays they’ll play gospel music. Bedolla said there aren’t many places acoustic performers can set up and play outside of bars, but she loves an atmosphere filled with music and conversation.

The Wollenmann Home, a Swiss chalet, was built in 1903 and has been through quite a bit in the 115 years since. Before it was the Monkey Hollow Bistro, the home survived 11 children growing up in its halls and was time and again expanded, repaired and renovated.

Breakfast will be served Saturday and will include biscuits and gravy, homemade cinnamon rolls, breakfast breads and other baked goods.

Verna Lee Wollenmann of Ferdinand and her sister, Gloria Irene (Wollenmann) Shreve of Santa Claus, were granddaughters of Dr. Alois Wollenmann and grew up in the house and retained ownership until 2010, when they sold it to a group of seven Ferdinand residents. That group purchased the home to save it from potential demolition and later transferred ownership to the Ferdinand Historical Society.

The home was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2013. After the Monkey Hollow Bistro moved into the space in 2014, a backyard pergola was constructed at the home for music concerts, and parking lot lighting was also added.

Bedolla can’t wait to reopen the doors.

“I am amazed,” she said of how she feels about achieving her goal of opening a bistro. “My mouth is just open in awe. It’s just like a dream, but I’m not going to wake up.”




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