The house was built in approximately 1890. The actual date is not known, because in 1910 all of the city's records were destroyed in a fire. Instead of trying to recreate factual records all buildings were given the 1910 date. The house is on the Historical Society's Westside walking tour for having the first bay window in Longmont.
In the 40's the house was added onto & converted into five apartments. In 1980, the first floor became an art gallery & cafe. In 1982, the art gallery was moved to one of the apartments upstairs, a commercial kitchen was added onto the rear of the house & a deck was built on the south side of the house, converting the entire first floor into an Austrian restaurant.
Frank & Ann Kaven bought the house in 1990. They converted the three apartments on the second floor into one & created a playroom in the attic for their two children, Christopher & Sarah. Simultaneously, they renovated the restaurant & opened ChriSar's Grill & Gallery on Easter Sunday, April 15, 1990.
ChriSar’s name was unique in that it was derived from combining both of the kids names into one. The gallery aspect of the business was created in order for Frank’s father Jerome Kaven to showcase his sculptures, along with showcasing other local artists, such as Rick Stoner. It was later renamed ChriSar’s Grill & Pasta House to bring more attention to some of Frank’s creative pasta dishes, such as Heartburn.
In 1992, the deck was enclosed & converted into a sun room. In preparation of their 10-year anniversary, the restaurant received a facelift introducing cool colors, textures & furnishings in the spring of 1999. To celebrate the new millennium, al fresco dining was introduced in the spring of 2000.
In the spring of 2004, Frank thought that since the kids had grown up it was time for the restaurant to do so too. It was decided that the decor needed to be relaxed & updated, that the menu should be more creative & fun, that the patio had to be expanded into the award winning patio it is today and that it should be an upscale casual place for adults to relax, refresh & rejuvenate themselves...thus, the creation of martini's bistro!
In 2009 Frank met Christopher Lee Kukich. Since then they have become partners in life & operate the bistro together.
In 2010 the bistro was awarded The Best of Martini by Denver MetroMix, in 2011 with the help of some fabulous friends & family they redesigned the décor to reflect more of their combined style, taste & desire to make you totally comfortable & 2012 became the pinnacle of their efforts for they received the Chamber of Commerce’s Small Business of the Year Award.
So please sit back, relax & Shake it Up!
~ Cheers…Frank & Christopher
Martini's Bistro is active in a variety of local organizations such as the Longmont Downtown Development Authority (LDDA), Longmont Area Visitors Association (LAVA), Longmont Chamber of Commerce & Longmont Council for the Arts. The Bistros partners Frank Kaven & Christopher Kukich are even more involved with local charities.
In 2009 they began a relationship with A Woman's Work in which they developed an event called "Magnificent Men of AWW" (an auction in which the men provide an excursion) last year over $53,000 was raised by the men participating, at the same time the 1st Wednesday of every month 10% of their revenue was donated to them.
As of 2012 Christopher has been working with a variety of different organizations the largest event is entitled "Cat Walk 4 Safe Shelter St. Vrain Valley - a Champagne & Canape Event" (this is a fashion show in which all of the jewelry, clothing & make-overs are donated & auctioned off). They are also creating smaller events such as on their birthdays a portion of the proceeds will be donated to Mountain States Children's Home. For the Tiny Tim Center there is a "Christmas in July Event" (you bring in a gift for a child & you will be given a gift from the Bistro). We also host the "Dining Out for the Arts - Martini Style" a fundraiser for Longmont Council for the Arts.
Other community involvement includes working with the Avon Walk to create a "Walk a Mile in Their Shoes" event (a meandering mile walk thru downtown Longmont from the Longmont Civic Center to Martini's Bistro) in the first year over $4,100 was raised, half of which stayed in the community to assist Stephanie McKeehan whom is currently battling breast cancer.
They do all of this plus there is the endless silent auction gift cards they give out all year long to local Non-Profits, Schools & Churches (in 2011 they gave over $5,000 in gift cards to these type of organizations). The Bistro Boys believe that giving back to the community is the only way in which to belong in the community.