New food truck takes Hearthstone Bistro ‘feel and flair’ on the road in Muskegon

MUSKEGON, MI – A fine dining restaurant has rolled out a new way to serve customers in Muskegon.

The Hearthstone Bistro, an upscale, European-style restaurant established in 1975, has a new food truck called Stone Appetit.

Owner Ben Soyars bought the truck a year ago as a creative way to adapt Hearthstone Bistro during COVID-19 capacity limits on restaurants.

“We were thinking with everything going on, we’d be able to dip our toe back in the water as far as lunch business on a smaller scale,” he said. “Kind of a throwback version of the Hearthstone with a limited lunch menu with sandwiches, soups and salads.”

The food truck took a back seat, however, when Soyars introduced outdoor igloos to comply with dine-in restrictions. Clear domes decked out with candles, lanterns and greenery allowed the Hearthstone Bistro to preserve the fine dining experience through the winter.

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The Stone Appetit eventually made its debut at Taste of Muskegon in September.

“It was a lot of fun for us to try something a little different and keep that Hearthstone feel and flair,” Soyars said.

Decorated to look like a French bistro with plants and string lights, the food truck is currently parked in the Hearthstone Bistro parking lot. It also served lunch at the restaurant’s Oktoberfest celebration last weekend.

Soyars said the overall idea for the Stone Appetit remains “fluid” with plans to cater banquets, weddings and other events.

Using it for a takeout lunch service is also a possibility.

“We’re going to utilize it the best we can,” he said.

Both the igloos and the food truck are ways the Hearthstone Bistro found to “serve our guests that we couldn’t serve the same way this past year,” Soyars said.

And those solutions are sticking around.

Hearthstone Bistro also plans to bring back the igloos this winter even without dining restrictions.

Reservations are expected to open in coming weeks.

Updates on events and plans for the Stone Appetit will be shared on the Hearthstone Bistro Facebook page.

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