Starting a business shortly after beginning a relationship doesn’t sound like a recipe for success, but for Tara Buzan and Alex Hardy, owners of Wayne’s At the Table BYOB, it has been. Together for just over a year, they’ve traversed as much as or more than a couple might in a decade. “It’s strange to think we’ve only been together for a year and we have a restaurant together and we live together,” she says. “We definitely went full throttle.”
Buzan previously owned A Taste of Britain in Wayne. But she had hopes for another concept, which she was able to achieve alongside Hardy through their new venture. The BYOB’s name plays off of Buzan’s catering company, To the Table, while also giving a nod to their relationship—the “At” stands for each of their first initials.
Restaurants can take years to plan and execute. Buzan and Hardy managed it in just three-and-a-half months. Naturally, that created stress. “I’ve always been taught that every couple should fight, and we would fight, but at the end of the day, I think it was good for us because it allowed us to see vulnerability we had in each other,” says Hardy, whose résumé includes Philadelphia’s Pumpkin and Phoenixville’s Majolica. “It allowed her to see me at my weakest point and know that it made me feel comfortable.”
Buzan adds: “If we didn’t do this together, it would be a much different relationship.”
Beyond the restaurant, Hardy also jumped into a family. Buzan has a 7-year-old son, Paxton. “To be absolutely honest, it was a little bit of a struggle,” he admits, though today he thinks of Paxton almost as his own.
Marriage and a restaurant expansion may be in their future, but for now, Buzan and Hardy seem happy with what they’ve got—and in record time.