Jeff and Joanie Hustead opened Bristol Cafe in a vacant building on Court Street in May 2017.
Jeff and Joanie worked as yacht captains for Charleston-based Cummins Engine’s marine section for 15 years, where they entertained foreign dignitaries and corporate executives. From their experiences with Cummins, they formed Gidget Gourmet in Charleston, and ran it for five years. Jeff and Joanie chose Statesville because they have family here and want to be a part of the town’s revitalization.
Court Street was known as Whiskey Shoot Alley during the early 1900s, and the spot of the restaurant has had many incarnations. In 1889, it originally opened as the Star Saloon. “This was the hell-raising part of town,” Jeff Hustead said. “It was lined with saloons; as many as two or three at a time. Newspaper articles from the era said the court would have to stop proceedings due to noise from the saloon.” In 1917, the location was known as the Bristol Hotel & Café, and that operation’s 100-year anniversary helped inspire the name of the business.