Klamath Falls patrons rang in the New Year Thursday night with food and drinks on the patio of Fable PNW, formerly known as Mr. B’s Steakhouse. The restaurant’s owners, the Mason family, were celebrating 2021 as well as the grand opening of their farm to table restaurant, after a year that saw the closure of the classic Klamath steakhouse.
Fable — a play on the phrase “farm to table” — is sourcing sustainable foods from local farms, growers and wineries in the region — if they aren’t making it themselves.
“Every aspect of that as far as what comes out of the kitchen, what gets served, our customers will know where it comes from,” said chef Lyman Mason.
The Mason family has owned Mr. B’s since 2018, but closed up shop when COVID-19 hit Klamath, along with the state restrictions designed to slow the spread. The Masons said didn’t feel that steak was conducive to take out and decided to close their doors instead.
In their time since shuttering the steakhouse, the Fable concept was born.
“We’ve had to change with the times,” Cathy Mason said. “COVID times is like no other time in history. You can’t be what you were yesterday because yesterday is not here.”
Business partner Pat Schacht said that the pandemic inspired a need to collaborate with businesses to get through tough times. They’re hoping their business model can help sustain others in the area, from bakeries to wineries to vegetable farms.
“The community as a whole is struggling,” Schacht said. “We’re all in this together, so that’s why we’re locally utilizing the sources of other businesses, so that while we feed ourselves, we’re also feeding our community.”
The family plans to have a rolling menu of foods that are in season and available locally. What Fable doesn’t source in the area, they plan to make. That includes, sauces, buns and tortillas. They also plan to eliminate waste in the restaurant with a compost garden.
The local selection will dictate the menu, with plans to offer a variety of food styles from American classics to Korean barbecue to Mexican food.
Lyman noted the former steakhouse’s reputation as a place to celebrate birthdays and anniversaries. He said he hopes a more affordable menu will help make Fable a place people want to come for more than just special occasions.
While they have been offering take-out since Dec. 18, customers got to “sit down and eat with us” for the first time outdoors on New Years Eve, said Cathy Mason. Although they know how risky it is to open a business while the community battles with COVID-19, they said business is always risky.