BRIDGEPORT — Diners at the Polo Café just might break out into a joyful tune when the restaurant's Sunday brunch service begins.
And it won’t only be because of chef Dave Samber’s acclaimed food.
Guests sitting down to the new “Hallelujah!! Bridgeport Gospel Brunch” will be treated to music by in-house organist Frank Glab. And if they feel like belting out tunes, the restaurant, 3322 S. Morgan St., will put hymnals next to the menus so diners can follow along.
"It's a reflection of who I am and who my staff is," said Samber, who’s owned the restaurant since 1985.
The service begins Sunday and will include popular items from the restaurant’s Saturday brunch menu — you can still get a burger for breakfast or the "Mayor’s Steak & Eggs," and Samber expects the creme brulee French toast will remain a hit.
But there will be a few divine diversions.
There’s the St. Meinrad Belgian Waffle, topped with powdered sugar and whipped cream and served “extra blessed” with an optional gelato flight; the St. Edward fried-chicken-and-waffle dish; and the St. Andrew breakfast sandwich, a toasted pretzel bagel stuffed with smoked bacon, melted Swiss cheese and avocado and drizzled with aioli.
“The almost sweetness of the pretzel, the sharpness of the Swiss, the saltiness of the bacon and the luscious creaminess of the avocado. Oh, marone,” Samber said.
He also plans to work in a few specials like catfish and grits or a Coquilles St. Jacque scallops-and-cream dish.
Accompanying it all will be the musical stylings of Glab, a professional magician ("The Great Frankini") and prolific organist whose tenure includes directorship of music ministries at St. Rene Goupil Church.
At the restaurant, he’ll be tickling the keys of his 1987 Allen organ set up right at the cafe's entrance.
“To anybody who knows anything about organs, this one’s a dandy,” Samber said.
It’s been a long time since the Polo Café opened on a Sunday — nearly 15 years — and Samber said the neighborhood has changed drastically since then.
He's noticed more families and neighborhood newcomers. He hopes they get out of the house and into the restaurant.
“We never had anybody walk this street before. If you walked on this street you’d get shot,” he said. "I think there's something happening around Bridgeport now, and I'd like to offer our hospitality."
Reservations are already filling up for this Sunday. If more diners arrive than can fit in the cafe, they'll move the brunch service to the larger next-door banquet hall, home to Samber's own personal organ, which sits atop a mezzanine.
The Polo Cafe's "Hallelujah!! Bridgeport Gospel Brunch" on Sundays begins May 19 with service from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. The cafe is open for lunch from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. weekdays, for dinner from 5 p.m.-9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and for Saturday brunch from 10 a.m.- 2 p.m.