Wheatfields Restaurant:Adding New Ingredients and a Dash of Cosmopolitan to a Perennial Saratoga Favorite
An “Evolved” Concept
Today, Wheatfields Restaurant and Bar is a thriving cornerstone in Saratoga Springs’ exciting hospitality scene, serving local farm-to-table produce, hand-cut steaks and a selection of wines that has garnered recognition from Wine Spectator for five years running. Add to this a relaxed, yet elegant atmosphere that offers the city’s best views on Broadway.
However, when restaurant-industry veterans Tim and Colleen Holmes bought The Wheat Fields in 2004, it was a much smaller venue, occupying less than half the space it does today. Having developed a loyal following of fans who loved the unique homemade pasta, the restaurant’s former owners had been content to continue operating just as the Loiancono family began in 1988: with a singular focus on pasta.
“Great pasta everyone loves, one of the most accessible locations in Saratoga, and a loyal following was what attracted us to Wheatfield’s in the first place,” said proprietor Tim Holmes. “With these assets to build upon, we viewed this place as having tremendous potential to be a major player in Saratoga’s robust restaurant scene.
The Next Level
To make this happen, the Holmes’ invested more than $1 million into taking The Wheat Fields to the next level. They doubled their space, upgraded the kitchen, diversified the menu, built an expansive new bar/lounge area and focused on adding top quality culinary talent to their food and beverage team. They transformed The Wheat Fields into Wheatfields Restaurant and Bar.
Having both worked for major restaurant groups in cities such as Boston and Chicago, they were experienced in what it takes to deliver high quality, consistent fare and service that make people keep coming back for more. They developed a proprietary quality training program for kitchen and house staff and have invested significantly in advanced sommelier and mixologist training for bar personnel.
“We believe strongly that the two primary factors in a great restaurant experience are the quality of the fare and the quality of the service,” said Colleen Holmes. “We don’t skimp on either.”
Eight short years since Tim and Colleen took over, Wheatfields Restaurant and Bar has evolved into one of the major success stories of the Saratoga region. Even during tough economic times, the restaurant is attaining record sales with a burgeoning local following and a vibe that attracts new visitors every day.
The success of Wheatfields prompted the Holmes to launch a second venue in nearby Clifton Park dubbed Wheatfields Bistro and Wine Bar in 2009. With the same dedication to taste, quality and service, Wheatfield’s Bistro and Wine Bar has become another “go to” lounge and restaurant within New York’s Capital Region.
We invite you to join us for lunch or dinner seven-days-a-week and watch for more as we continue to grow.
TIMOTHY AND COLLEEN HOLMES
- The Proprietors
Colleen O’Bryan Holmes - Cofounder, Managing Partner
Colleen is Chairman of the New York State Restaurant Association and holds a Bachelors of Science degree from Michigan State University.
Timothy D. Holmes - Cofounder, Managing Partner
Tim has worked successfully in the food and beverage business for over twenty-five years. Throughout his tenure as Vice President, Managing Partner, of Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises in Chicago, he owned, operated and created multiple restaurant concepts; 1995 Brasserie Jo, a 225 seat 1940’s Parisian style brasserie; 1997 Heaven on Seven, a 150-seat full service Cajun/Creole concept; 1998 Brasserie Jo’s second location, Boston Massachusetts; 2001 Petterino’s, a 200-seat Italian Chop House; 1998-2000 Lettuce Catering, a full service off-premise catering company. As Director of Operations, Tim was responsible for the creation, decision- making, planning, financial performance and operations of these concepts. Tim’s leadership directed over twenty managers and five hundred employees. Currently as owner and operator of WHEATFIELDS Restaurants in Saratoga Springs and Clifton Park New York, he enjoys leading the teams, developing the concepts, and always looking forward to the next project.
Tim is Vice-President of the Saratoga Springs Downtown Business Association, an active member of the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce, and the Chamber of Southern Saratoga County. He holds an Associates Degree in Hotel Restaurant Management from Paul Smith’s College, and was on the Board of Directors for Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises from 1997-2001.