New vibrations

OM Foods adds live music and moves to a bigger home

Darby McConnell and Amanda Bosschart behind the bar at Om on the Range. (Photo by Ken Smith)

This feature is part of a CN&R special report: Entrepreneurs 2022: Reinvention.

For years, Amanda Bosschart fantasized about the storefront at the southeast corner of Third and Main streets, imagining it would make the perfect home for the business she’s always wanted to create—a tasty eatery that could also offer live entertainment in downtown Chico.

She even looked at the spot more than a half-decade ago, but at the time, it wasn’t meant to be. The Main Street space became a burrito spot and then Old Barn Kitchen, and Bosschart instead moved OM Foods from a hut on West Sacramento Avenue to a small spot on Broadway.

But last summer, after seeing that Old Barn Kitchen was closing, Bosschart decided it was time to expand her business—pandemic be damned. “It wasn’t even on the market yet,” she said of the space. “I hunted down the landlord and made some bold moves.”

Fortune favored her this time around, and Bosschart said she and her partner, Darby McConnell, spent the next several months building out and adapting the space. On Nov. 11, Om on the Range opened its doors. The restaurant has been open three days a week with limited hours since then but beginning this week will switch to a fuller schedule: Monday-Saturday, noon-8 p.m.

Om on the Range, Bosschart explained, is both an extension of and an expansion on what is offered at OM Foods. That venue will remove fish from the menu and go completely vegan, while the new restaurant includes what she described as “omnivore options.”

OM Foods will stay open until its lease runs out in nine months, at which point it will merge under one roof with the newer restaurant.

“I just love food,” she said. “I like local food, I like grass-fed and healthy foods. That’s my whole jam and the foundation of what we’re doing here: serving clean, organic meat and dairy products and delicious food to people.”

Bosschart said all of the dishes are made from scratch, and chef Blake Husen helped her develop a “more sophisticated” menu.

“A lot of what we serve is my favorite things to eat from around town, but in organic form,” she said.

Om on the Range also offers live entertainment, which Bosschart referred to as “the icing on the cake.” It currently has DJs every Thursday night with bands on Fridays and Saturdays. The shows have been well-received and attended, she said, and generated a lot of interest from local and out-of-town acts eager to return to the stage since COVID-19 decimated live music. McConnell—a drummer—is in charge of booking, and Bosschart said entertainment is scheduled for approximately the next two-and-a-half months.

Bosschart is confident that Om on the Range will continue to grow and succeed. That faith is based on experience—having opened OM Foods six years ago, as of this Valentine’s Day—and maybe some of the trust in the spiritual universe implied in the restaurants’ names.

“I’m a lover, and I love feeding people, I love giving … so Valentine’s Day was a good time to open my hut, and now is a good time to take it to that next level.”

Om on the Range, 301 Main St., (530) 487-8150, facebook.com/omontherangechico

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