Thursday, February 4, 2010

Dixon serves restaurant with top award to Bud's Pub and Grill

Dixon serves restaurant with top award
Posted: 02/04/2010 01:03:01 AM PST

Brandy Hensley (left) and her parents Bud and Cherie Fanning, of Bud's Pub & Grill in Dixon, have been named Business of The Year by the Dixon Chamber of Commerce. (RICK ROACH / THE REPORTER)

Like most events in Dixon, Bud's Pub and Grill catered the dinner for the Dixon Citizen of the Year award ceremony.

The family-owned and operated business just celebrated its 14th year of being open and on Saturday was also awarded the 2009 Business of the Year at the very dinner they served.

Bud and Cherie Fanning admitted that at first they weren't really catching what the announcer was saying, but then after a while it dawned on them.

"Hey, that sounds like us," said Bud.

"We were going to the dinner anyway, we usually do," Cherie added. "Then it came together why we had so much family there."

The two were very surprised, they said.

"It's a great honor," Bud said Saturday to the crowd of friends and family. "It takes a lot of people to run a business. Without you we wouldn't have a business."

Bud and Cherie, both born and raised in Dixon, started dating in high school and have been married for 45 years. Both families had businesses in downtown Dixon. Cherie's great-great-grandfather, one of Dixon's original businessmen, owned a morgue and blacksmith shop while Bud's mother ran a cleaners.

Dixon has grown since then, but the core of the city, they said, is still at the corner of First and A streets.

"We wanted downtown to be alive again," Cherie said. "We wanted to give it a shot and 14 years later they say we're the hub of downtown."

The majority of the employees at Bud's are related to the Fannings one way or the other,sisters, children, nieces and nephews all help with the family business.
It's the family and the many customers that keep the Fanning's motivated to keep going.

"It's a family atmosphere," Cherie said. "Even after a busy night, one where we're snapping at each other, at the end we're all good again."

For Bud it's the camaraderie.

"I like people," he said. "We have loyal customers that have helped support us while we were building the business."

The couple recalled when they first started out that both of them worked full time, Cherie at C. A. Jacobs and Bud at an Albertson's in Vacaville.

"If we hadn't worked full time, we probably wouldn't have made it," Cherie admitted. Now, the two are retired and Cherie doesn't have to cook.

"We eat all our meals here now," she said. "Thanksgiving and Christmas is the only time I cook now. I'm really glad we didn't give up."

Customers keep coming back whether it's for Taco Tuesday or a Bud Burger and even to hang out with friends, the Fannings can usually greet customers by their first names when they walk through the door.

"It's a close knit community," Cherie said. "We've had so many fundraisers here just to help out people in Dixon."

The Fannings continue to do what they can to meet the customers' needs, by adding menu items or extending their business hours.

Now, Bud's is open at 6:30 a.m. seven days a week to serve breakfast.

At that time of day, Bud is the bartender and server -- that is until it gets busy.

Bud doesn't have a particular favorite on the menu, he likes everything.

"I say everything is good," Bud added. "If it wasn't good, it wouldn't be on the menu. I try everything before we give the option to the customers."