Keep the Faith
It was in 2008 that German-born chef Robert Alimirzaie became enraptured with the building that once housed First Baptist Church. For 10 years, Robert couldn’t get the old church out of his mind. When he and future partner Carlos Ponce met, Robert shared his ideas. The two dreamed of how their collaboration might take shape. Charles H. Biggar designed the building in a Romanesque/Mission Revival style. Construction was completed in 1931. Mercifully, Charles utilized reinforced decorative concrete to build the church, which enabled it to survive the 1952 earthquake. After several prior iterations, the old church has donned yet another guise. Robert and Carlos’ vision became a reality, and The Tower opened in April of this year.
Old Testament to New
The partners wanted a new, sleek, modern look for the old space. They called upon friend and fellow restaurateur Shai Gordon to design the bar area and revamp the narthex. The huge clerestory nave still inspires with a gleaming contemporary vibe. The walls are studded with stained glass windows that glow with light. The Romanesque windows along the lower row in the nave are original to the church. The larger windows of the upper row were replaced at a later time. Additionally, hymns have been substituted with live entertainment performed by the area’s most talented musicians. Needless to say, the acoustics are glorious.
Robert started in the restaurant business at the tender age of 9 in his native Germany. He trained and worked his way up, eventually working at a Michelin Star-rated restaurant. At Tower, Robert wanted to create a different experience where guests could dine on a wonderful meal and have fun with their friends. He feels that quality ingredients are key with an emphasis on freshness. Presentation is important; not fussy, just delicious.
A Communion of Talents
Entrees are creative interpretations of American favorites with some international additions. Great care is taken in the preparation of each dish under Robert’s watchful eye. Lunch and dinner are served six days a week; brunch is served on Sunday. Disciples of creative cocktail mixology will be delighted by the heavenly creations of The Tower’s choir of bar masters. The wine list offers a host of excellent selections. The menus will change every three months and will feature seasonal ingredients. Both the bar and wine menus will change every four months.
The Tower’s food and atmosphere are worthy of the praise the new restaurant has been receiving. Robert is indeed a high priest among culinary masters. Carlos is the talented frontman that keeps the service functioning flawlessly. Let us rejoice! Hallelujah!
“Work Hard, live well and put your faith in Him.”
1200 Truxtun Ave. #100, Bakersfield, California, 661.321.9597, TheTower-Restaurant.com