General Manager


Executive Chef

Our Story

BraiZe is co-owned by Lexington natives Zack Poleto and Brandon Leach.  Zack, BraiZe’s Executive Chef, graduated from Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in 2006.  He has worked at Table 52 and Epicurion Bistro in Sous Chef positions under Chef Art Smith and Chef Dom Bialy. Brandon is BraiZe’s General Manager and has a degree in Finance from Northeastern Illinois University and is currently attending Illinois State University for Entrepreneurship.

They have been best friends for over twenty years and have traveled the world, visiting India, parts of Asia, Australia, the Middle East, and places across the United States.  One of the best parts of traveling is the food, and BraiZe’s menu is inspired by some of Zack and Brandon’s favorite dishes from around the world.

BraiZe uses many ingredients sourced from local farmers and all food is prepared fresh to order.  The menu is updated regularly based on seasonal availability.  The signature item, the BraiZito, is a sandwich like no other: a six-inch chunk of hot, fresh-baked bread hollowed out and stuffed with goodness.  The end of the bread is buttered and grilled so every BraiZito is good to the last bite.

BraiZe is a pop-up restaurant located inside VFW Post #454.  Increasing in popularity across the world, pop-up restaurants make use of existing kitchen facilities at a wide variety of venues.  Pop-up’s allow talented chef’s to showcase their dishes in a low overhead facility while focusing on the future of a brick and mortar storefront.

For Bloomington/Normal, BraiZe is one of the first of it’s kind. Through their use of social media they have established a large and dedicated following. Stop in Tuesday through Saturday for lunch 11-2pm, or Friday 5-8pm for dinner. Follow them on social media for updated menu’s every week or sign up for the email list and have the menu and other news delivered right to your inbox.

Community Projects




Military Suicide Awareness

Bloomington/Normal JayCees

Habitat for Humanity

Big Brothers Big Sisters

Festival of Trees (Baby Fold)

St. Baldricks

Chamber of Commerce

First Bite sponsored by The Pantagraph

Glorious Garden Walk

Cemetery Walk

Lincoln College

Bike BloNo

1 Million Cups