Closing September 3rd through the 19th
Have you heard the term “scratch kitchen” before? It signifies a kitchen that does not use processed foods and makes everything from raw ingredients. Bethany’s Table is a scratch kitchen. Inspections by the local health authority have required some additional training. The inspectors in Washington County don’t see many scratch kitchens.
In that vein, Bethany’s Table is a “scratch restaurant.” It was built from raw ingredients, one trip to Home Depot at a time. In 2008 we were holding the bag on a meal assembly store we purchased from David’s sister after she had fled from her Dinners Ready store screaming with her hair on fire. David was going to finish the turnaround they had begun together and sell the business quickly. That was June of 2008: not great timing.
By the spring of 2009, in the throes of the Great Recession, saddled with a business we didn’t want, we started a restaurant. For the first year our sauté line was a three-burner camp stove. For the first five years, still with no hood, we did our grilling on a barbecue at the back porch. It’s been a long row to hoe. We built tables, found chairs on Craigslist, scavenged for dinnerware and cooking utensils; customers gave us silverware. Then we fixed up the dining room, changed the lighting, built new cabinets and created an entrance lobby.
Finally the county closed in on us. They were right to do so. It turns out that putting a restaurant in a place that had been classified as a retail space was a change of occupancy. We needed to hire an architect and submit plans for all of our improvements. An additional restroom was required, as was a grease interceptor and, of course, a hood. The County treated us well and folks were sympathetic, but business is business. In 2014 we installed a bona fide cooking line with a 14’ hood. In 2015 we rented space the yogurt shop next door didn’t need, built two new restrooms and enlarged the kitchen. Still we were not able to muster what it took to demolish the existing restroom and office so we could expand the wine bar. Finally, this July, we tackled that project.
While Janet was in Europe we closed the restaurant for ten long, grueling days. By removing the restroom we were able to isolate the kitchen waste plumbing and install a large grease interceptor under the kitchen floor. We framed a new, higher wood ceiling, installed a beautiful new floor, scavenged pews to create two funky banquettes, made new tables and hung lights. Dinners Ready – will be gone. Beautiful “barn doors” will be hung from a beam to create a private dining space for large groups and special events. The new, high ceiling will be covered in beautifully stained wood. All of the chairs will be new so as not to scratch the lovely floor. Finally we have a dining area in the restaurant that is in keeping with Janet’s cuisine.
For over seven years now we have poured all of our time and treasure into building this restaurant a block at a time. Standing in the newly expanded wine bar space made living with the old décor untenable. So we are closing again for two weeks beginning the Saturday before Labor Day – September 3rd. When we reopen the entire restaurant will be beautiful. The 15’ reach-in cooler – a final remnant of Dinners Ready – will be gone. Beautiful “barn doors” will be hung from a beam to create a private dining space for large groups and special events. And David can go back to the simple life as “Director of Customer Experience.”
Please bear with us. We aim to be a reliable resource for our neighbors and, of course, we hate to close. Follow our remodeling adventures on Facebook and do come see us when we reopen… we’ll really need the cash! With enough cash, we may even get a sign!