New restaurant a family affair


As the Maricopa community grows, so do the opportunities for local entrepreneurs to start businesses. One Maricopa family is doing just that. Byron Fanning Jr. and his brother, Ed Fanning, are taking 30 years of restaurant experience and bringing it to Maricopa with a new restaurant concept called On the Go Bistro.

Both brothers have been working in food service since their youth. Byron, the driving force behind the venture, started selling food at his mother’s bingo games when he was 12 years-old. He most recently spent the last 14 years in management for Denny’s Restaurants.

Ed is coming on board as the restaurant’s general manager after working as a server, bartender and manager at the Golden Steer Steak and Rib House in Kent, Washington for the past four years. He is currently the general manager of a Denny’s in the Valley.

Ed and Byron Fanning are excited to be in Maricopa.

 align=On the Go Bistro is a family restaurant with “family recipes and a family feel” according to Byron. “Our slogan is ‘At your table or ours.’ We plan to focus on carryout and delivery while still having 40 in-house seats for those families who would like to go out to eat.”

Byron explains that he wanted to develop a new concept that combines high quality food with great service. “We want our customers to walk away happy… every time.”

Scheduled to open in August in the new Fry’s Marketplace center, On the Go Bistro will boast “comfort dinners” such as roast turkey, salmon, steakhouse strip and fajitas on its menu. It will be a combination of recipes from grandmothers, aunts and uncles as well as the brothers themselves.

On the Go Bistro will also be open for lunch with signature sandwiches, hamburgers, soups and salads. They also have a classic kids menu so the whole family can enjoy their favorite foods.

Byron, wife Gail, and their son, Byron III.

Byron, his wife Gail, and 8 month-old son Byron III live in Rancho El Dorado and love the small-town feel and cannot wait to be a part of the growing community. Ed and Renee Fanning, along with 9 year-old son Devon, recently purchased a home in Maricopa too.

Renee, Devon and Ed Fanning.

All members of the family have the same vision as it relates to what makes a restaurant work. Ed feels that his experience in the 90s with Chick-fil-A and Yoshis, as well as his recent jobs at Golden Steer and Denny’s have given him quite an advantage over others who have tried to start their first restaurants. “I have seen what success is and what it isn’t from all angles,” explains Ed. “I feel I have a clear-cut idea of what works.”

Ed and Byron are not the only two Fannings who are contributing to this endeavor. The brothers’ father, Byron Sr., is helping with marketing and sales, an in which he has an extensive background to complement his MBA. The brothers credit him as being “an invaluable part of the team that has worked hard to get the business started.” He will also work in the front of the restaurant part time.

Gail and Renee are equally involved in On the Go, especially when it relates to what type of environment it should have. “It needs to be kid friendly,” states Gail. “That is why we have a kids corner with toys and a treasure chest.”

With the new edition of Byron III, Gail feels like she understands how important it is to have a family environment that is truly for the whole family. “You go to most restaurants and they hand you some crayons,” laughs Gail. “With our play area, parents will get more of a chance to relax while their children are entertained.”

Renee can also relate to the hectic schedules of families and how that affects the time they have to cook a quality meal at home. On the Go Bistro is different from other restaurants because of its focus on take-out and home delivery, explain the Fannings. Renee says, “the food tastes like you cooked it in your own kitchen but without all the work and effort.”

Renee is also excited for the future of On the Go Bistro and its expansion. The family hopes to expand the restaurant to more locations and open On the Go Espresso. “I worked as a barista in Seattle,” states Renee. “I know what it takes to make great coffee and espresso drinks.” Renee will also be a barista for the restaurant as well as manage the accounting.

The On the Go Bistro family.

Look for On the Go Bistro to be the first of many restaurants in the On the Go and Fanning families. Plans for next concept, On the Go Espresso, are already underway.

For more information about On the Go Bistro, contact Byron Fanning, Jr. via email or telephone at (520) 568-8818.