Green door restaurant ready to re-open

Early February was expected to see the reopening of the renovated and enlarged Green Door Restaurant.

The Green Door closed Christmas Eve, but its staff didn’t go into hibernation.

Owner Ron Farmer, his staff and family worked non-stop to renovate and expand the Main Street landmark. Farmer, his son Jude, and restaurant employees did much of the demolition, basic framing and carpentry work.

Several employees have put down knives and wooden spoons to grab ahold of a screw-gun, and stepped back from the stove to stand in front of a table-saw,” Farmer said. He hired professionals when the project demanded skills, such as plumbing and drywalling.

The new space will seat at least 120 people. The previous maximum was 95.

To accommodate the additional capacity, the kitchen area has doubled in size. Farmer redesigned and enlarged the serving area to eliminate the lineups and long waits that unfortunately characterized the previous configuration.

He also installed new kitchen equipment.

While the renovated restaurant is much larger, Farmer said his goal was for his guests, “both of many years and more recent days, to easily recognize the place.”

The renovation maintained the artisanal style that has characterized the Green Door. Many tables and chairs have remained.

Finding chairs for the additional seating area did not pose a problem. Farmer bought a large supply from Saint Paul University during the Main Event garage sale a few years ago.

He had used many chairs already, but enough had been left over to provide seats for the additional tables.

Workers carved the slab of maple that served as the cash counter until December into a new table and made another from the same Douglas Fir tree that was used to craft the cash counter in the Green Door Grocer.

Jude, a carpenter currently living in British Columbia, came back to Ottawa to help his father with the renovations. He brought with him a number of Douglas Fir planks.

In addition to being made into tables, many planks will be crafted into tray rails and counters.

The tree that provided this wood started growing in 1850, the same year the site of Colonel By’s headquarters during the construction of the Rideau Canal was incorporated as Bytown (later Ottawa).

With renovations almost finished, Farmer and the staff are ready to invite guests to “come and eat off a tree that’s as old as the Rideau Canal.”

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