The Anchor | Photo by Sam Shriver
The Anchor is the newest bar and restaurant to come to historic downtown Celina, offering drinks, dinner and entertainment.
Jacob Poeppleman, owner-operator, and Mandi Bruce, general manager, opened The Anchor bar and restaurant in July 2021. The establishment is located in the historic Charlie’s Bakery building, which had been empty for some time.
“We wanted to help see Celina downtown grow again and be active, and I think it’s definitely starting to move in that direction,” Bruce said. “It’s waking up.”
Although it was initially envisioned as more of a bar aimed at patrons in their 30s and 40s, The Anchor has become a welcoming place for all demographics. Lunch specials are popular among older adults, drinks with younger adults, and even teens and families frequent the new restaurant.
“Initially we thought that it would be more of a bar, but people loved the food so much, and we offer kids menus,” Poeppelman said.
The physical set-up of the interior has also led to more of a restaurant atmosphere.
“What we did with seating in the space kind of made it lean more restaurant than we initially intended, but I think the community basically decided, ‘you’re a restaurant,’” Bruce said.
The Anchor offers a comfortable and welcoming atmosphere for everyone in the community to enjoy.
Experience and local roots
Both Poeppelman and Bruce have extensive backgrounds in the food industry with roots in the Celina restaurant community. Poeppelman’s first job as a teenager was at Romer’s Catering which led to 16 years of food industry experience, while Bruce’s was at Pullman Bay Restaurant and she has since accumulated 27 years of experience. The Anchor is Poeppelman’s first restaurant of his own.
“I’ve done every position, even brewing, outside beer sales, really everything involved with bars and restaurants,” Poeppelman said.
The pair has gained invaluable experience from their many years working with local restaurants and have incorporated resources from their peer establishments in the Celina area in their own business to the benefit of The Anchor and the local restaurant community.
“We’re competitive in the fact that we want to do everything the best way, but restaurants are all in it together. If one restaurant is going to be doing good, everyone is probably doing good,” Poeppelman said.
Throughout the month of November, The Anchor featured collaborative items on their menu featuring foods from local establishments such as Casa Rodriguez, Celina Wine Store and The Fountain Restaurant.
“As restaurants, we were able to come together and I think that’s helping the community. Like, you can work together with people, not everything has to be ‘this is mine, and this is yours, and we’re going to fight,’” Bruce said.
Coping with the pandemic
Since their opening in July, The Anchor has not faced dramatic hardship due to the ongoing pandemic aside from a few supply chain issues. Although existing businesses in Celina have been significantly negatively impacted by the pandemic, The Anchor has seen its own business boom.
“When we opened, we thought we were going to have to bring people in, so we started booking stuff [live music, trivia nights, etc], but even if we don’t, we’re just so busy,” Poeppelman said.
The Anchor will be participating in Celina’s newly established First Fridays program, a monthly themed event in the downtown business district inviting the community to come see what Celina establishments have to offer.
February’s theme is “chocolate walk,” and The Anchor will be offering chocolate-themed specials and drink specials on the evening of Wednesday, Feb. 4, 2022.
To learn more about menu offerings and drink specials and to keep up-to-date on events, check out The Anchor’s Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/TheAnchorCelina