Nick Cusick has been a frequent customer at Bread & Cup, and he also considers himself a good friend of founders Kevin and Karen Shinn.
So when the Shinns ran into financial problems caused in large part by a failed restaurant venture at the Piedmont Shoppes, Cusick offered his help to ensure Bread & Cup stayed open.
That offer of help ultimately ended up with Cusick and three partners becoming the new owners of the restaurant in the Sawmill Building at Eighth and S streets.
The Shinns closed the Piedmont Bistro in December after less than a year in business and a few days later were hit with a lawsuit over more than $100,000 in unpaid rent and other costs.
"The Piedmont closure set off a domino effect for us, and we were stretched pretty thin," Kevin Shinn said in an interview. "We were not in a good position."
Enter Cusick and his partners.
"We just needed some help, and Nick came in and provided that help for us," Shinn said.
Cusick, who is president of Lincoln-based manufacturing company Bison Inc., declined to identify his partners. He said they are all Lincoln residents who are "like minded."
They officially became the sole owners of Bread & Cup on Saturday.
Though the Shinns no longer own the restaurant they opened nearly a decade ago, they will still be heavily involved. Kevin Shinn will continue as executive chef and Karen will work there occasionally for special events.
Megan Kritenbrink, who has led the kitchen for the past four years, has assumed the position of general manager.
Kevin Shinn said he's looking forward to being able to concentrate on cooking and baking while also being able to interact with the customers more.
Shinn and Cusick both said it will continue to be business as usual and customers should not notice any changes -- except for some cosmetic changes that are planned.
Bread & Cup closes early on Sundays and is closed Mondays, and the new owners plan to bring in contractors during those times to make some upgrades, including new paint, carpet, table and counter tops, and other work. Cusick said the work should take a couple of months.
Shinn said that with the restaurant's 10th anniversary coming up in August, the cosmetic upgrades make sense.
And he credits Cusick and his partners with helping to ensure the restaurant is around to celebrate that 10-year milestone.
"We're just really grateful for their support," Shinn said.
Cusick, for his part, said he's glad he can help ensure Lincoln keeps one of its "most interesting dining options."
"We're excited to continue the legacy that is Bread & Cup," he said.