By HILLARY GAVAN
Senior staff writer
SOUTH BELOIT — A much-loved sight is back in South Beloit — Bob and Beth Larsen behind the counter. The couple has been providing great customer service and a delicious menu at Artisan, 1322 Gardner St. and they hope to provide a nice dining experience and tasty made-from-scratch food in a welcoming and affordable environment.
“I think we’ve got it all. We have fantastic food and we’ve got a microbrew you can’t get anywhere else. Come in and check us out,” Beth Larsen said.
The Larsens opened Artisan on April 20. They will be holding a grand opening on July 21 with food specials and beer tastings.
The Larsens have a bit of history with the business. They’ve owned the building since 2002 when they opened the Inferno and ran it for six years as an off-track betting bar and restaurant. They then sold it to a couple who ran it for almost five years as Tads. However, the business started to decline after a fire. Because the business was sold on land contract, the Larsens got it back four years ago.
They decided to embark on renovating the building and re-opening the business. Special attention was given to making a robust menu. It includes appetizer favorites such as steak bites — sautéed sirloin steak served with a side of bourbon mushroom sauce — and duck poppers — jalapeño and duck breast wrapped in bacon and served on a raspberry creme fraiche.
Other popular items are chicken Alfredo and the Tex Mex burger topped with jalapeño, guacamole, lettuce, tomato and queso sauce on a brioche bun.
Beth Larsen said most items can be made gluten-free, as all the sauces and dressings are made from scratch. Artisan also offers gluten-free noodles and buns.
Artisan is also the tap house for Off Kilter Brewing.
“We have five different beers on tap you won’t be able to get anywhere else,” she said.
People can also purchase a “growler,” a 64-ounce container of craft beer to take home.
Larsen said the business has been attracting new people as well as customers from years past.
“It’s nice to reconnect with good friends and customers,” she said.
Larsen encourages people to follow Artisan on Facebook as daily specials are posted.