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Dining Out — Restaurant Roving: Customers sing along in this upbeat place


It’s not just in movies that restaurant customers spontaneously burst into song, accompanying popular songs playing in the background.

That also occasionally happens at Café With Soul, the cheerfully upbeat nonprofit restaurant in Cross Keys Plaza in Doylestown.

“I always wanted a restaurant that was like ‘Cheers,’ where everybody knew your name,” explains Bethanne Reid, who is manager of the restaurant that opened in August. That appears to be the case at Café With Soul.

Reid worked for 11 years at Back to the ‘50s restaurant on the other side of Doylestown. After it closed, she briefly came to work at the Bread Crumb, a longtime favorite breakfast eatery in Cross Keys Plaza.

When the Bread Crumb owners decided to close, Reid contacted Joel Zazyczny, who she knew was interested in creating a restaurant where all profits would got to STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) and music programs in the Central Bucks School District.

Talks began in early July; the restaurant was redecorated with a musical theme in three and a half weeks, and it opened Aug. 19.

It quickly drew customers who have returned again and again, including some from the Bread Crumb, some from Back to the ‘50s, and groups like the local chapter of the Veterans of Foreign Wars who hold a monthly breakfast meeting there.

They come to dine on the restaurant’s varied breakfast menu, which ranges from basic eggs with toast and home fries to Benedicts, omelets, creamed chipped beef, sausage gravy over biscuits and breakfast sandwiches. A signature platter is the Soul Sampler, which includes pancakes or French toast, eggs and bacon or sausage.

Lunch options include salads, soup of the day, quiche of the day, burgers, wraps, cheesesteaks, reubens, milk shakes and fruit smoothies.

As customers dine, they listen to a wide variety of musical stylings. And yes, sometimes they break into song when it’s a tune they know and love.

“The restaurant is about more than just food,” said Reid, who also is known as the singer for the group RGM Project. “People feel good when they come in.”

The restaurant hopes to eventually raise as much as $100,000 per year to be used toward STEM and music projects in the school district.

Meanwhile, a separate fundraising event, Broadway Breakfast, will feature members of the Central Bucks West High School Harlequin Club. The student members of the cast of the show “Chicago” will serenade diners from 8 until 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 26.

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