Stand up for Bell Tower — for all your brunch needs March 31, 2022 — by Apurva Chakravarthy If you’re looking for good food, great customer service, and a warm, welcoming atmosphere, look no further.In the past few months, my overly sentimental self has been pondering what it will be like at the end of this year to leave the town I’ve lived in for pretty much all my life. One of the questions I’ve asked myself — and all my senior friends — is what Saratoga places we would show our new college friends if they ever came to visit. Beyond the school (joys of living in a small town!) and the Argonaut Shopping Center, I am convinced that one of the first places I would take them would be Bell Tower. Bell Tower, established for more than a decade, is perfectly nestled between Oak Street and Big Basin Way. It’s owned by Michael Shadman and his wife Manhaz Khazen, parents of 2012 alumna Nicole Shadman. The couple is committed to being a crucial part of Saratoga life and culture. The location makes it feel like it’s part of Downtown Saratoga, but it’s just far enough out that it is its own little haven. I first started frequenting Bell Tower the summer before my junior year since my friends and I either couldn’t drive or were deathly scared of driving far distances. Bell Tower remained open in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, and my friends and I would go each week. Bell Tower quickly became my favorite restaurant — good food, good company and decently priced. As soon as you walk in, you’re hit with top-tier ambience. There’s nice music playing in the background, and the customer service is great with restaurant staff who are always laughing and seem to have a good time. Over the summer, the staff would start recognizing us and our orders, which was a major ego boost. It just goes to show how careful and attentive they are — no matter how many customers they get, they go out of their way to make them feel comfortable and appreciated. The layout of the restaurant makes it so that you can sit inside at a table or a booth or outside at their covered patio. It’s perfect for both a nice summer day or a cold winter morning, when they bring out outdoor heaters. Bell Tower is arguably one of the best places downtown simply because of its ideal location and versatile food options. Craving sweets? Get some short stack pancakes. Craving savory? Get yourself a nice chicken sandwich. Sure, there may be other brunch places everywhere. But there’s only one Bell Tower. Do yourself a favor and go to Bell Tower before you leave Saratoga. You won’t regret it.