Let the Nail Biting Begin!

Sorry friends, who wonder where I have been.

I have been designing a restaurant! I didn't want to say anything until we knew for sure it was going to happen - like until demolition/construction began. Which it did, yesterday. We got the go ahead from the owner around 5pm Monday, and work began Tuesday morning. There's no time to waste, because the projected opening date is 12-12-12. Five weeks!

**Coppertop bar no more... enlarged kitchen to come!**

About a month ago, StoneFort had some changes in the kitchen with the addition of superchefs David Mitchell and Robert Stockwell.  David's a big thinker, and the space is so perfect for a restaurant - just check out these huge windows - aren't they inspiring?

Equally inspiring, the old exposed stone wall on the outside edges of the building:

But I am getting ahead of us - let me take you on a quick walk-through. Here's our future entrance - we thought giving Terra Mae its own entrance was better than walking into the lobby for the Inn. Plus, we get to have more fun this way.

The floorplan as the building is now:

And the proposed floorplan:

We'll do a little walk-thru, starting with what was the billiard room. The billiard table is FOR SALE by the way. It's a super nice one, and super heavy.

This room is actually really cool - it has a lot of things collected over time/donated to the Inn, all of which will stay. We may rearrange things a bit - and we are adding some comfy seating in here so diners can wait for the rest of their party in comfort. There will be a hostess station here also.

Our color palette:

Fairly neutral... save for that killer blue ceiling. This will be done throughout, with a few surprises here and there.

Now, the library:

You can tell it was already being used for breakfast overflow.

In the unseen corner to the left, we're adding a wine bar. The rest will be seating (I'll post seating charts later) and those bookcases? Bye-bye! They're going to be wine racks! Inspiration images:

We've a neat little surprise in the works to go over the poor little marble mantel. Its short stature makes it easy to miss, and it's really beautiful.

On to the dining room - I just designed my first set of restaurant banquettes. They'll look a little like this, but not quite - and the fabric is much more earthy. We're basing all the colors and fabrics off the old stone in the building:

Below is the dining room as of yesterday - Chef David is running things out the doors for storage. We removed the imposing red curtains a few weeks ago. The sunlight in here is truly awesome, even on a cloudy day you find your spirits lifted.

View from the other side of the room - Chef Robert making a call (we live on our phones right now):

Our moving and storage team - believe me, it was a shock to pull in yesterday and see so much removed already. Two loads in the truck went out yesterday, another one will go today I am sure.

The current bar is also for sale (here's the linky to the eBay listing). In its place will be an open kitchen concept. We're also putting in a chef's table (that's a must, you know!).

Beyond the doorway on the left is the sitting room - which is already our temporary breakfast room for Inn guests. Innkeeper James Greathouse is adding a few touches to the tables:

And the chef's temporary "kitchen" is where our wine bar will be:

Anyway, to my Chattanooga friends and those who might visit Nooga someday -  you can get a teeny taste of how awesome Robert and David's cooking is by drooling over these pictures (I bear no responsibility for ruined keyboards):

Fresh salad - dirt to fork inspired:

Filet mignon:

Chicken over risotto:

I didn't take pictures of dessert. We ate it too fast. All of it. Chefs Robert and David could make a good business on the dessert alone - but everything we tasted was beyond delicious.

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