Stone Jug almost ready to open
Historic property’s owner more optimistic after sorting through issues
Those beautiful chandeliers, seats and tables inside The Stone Jug on Water Street in Carbonear may soon get put use.
The Compass spoke with owner Bruce Branan last week about the future of the historic building and the restaurant he hopes to open in the near future.
Good news is, former issues that plagued the application for the building to open are starting to get settled.
After recruiting an architect, the American businessman has made strides with applications and permits, and hopes to com- pletely have the building ready to go in three short weeks.
If all goes as planned, a midSeptember opening could become a reality.
But that is not all that is in progress for the 19th-century building.
This past April, Carbonear businessman George Rowe — also a friend of Branan’s — purchased the former Easy Save property that was attached to The Stone Jug on one side. The building is now being torn down, leaving some open space next to the new restaurant.
Branan confirmed he will obtain the property from Rowe to use as both a parking lot and possibly an outdoor patio area. In the coming weeks, Branan expects the building will be completely torn down, and a staircase fire escape will be built along the newly exposed side of the building. He’s also thinking about creating signage on the newly exposed side of the building to welcome guests.
Branan told The Compass he has been recruiting cooks for his business, including some pretty talented international chefs. The cooking styles and experience of these professionals is one of the reasons Branan targeted them.
A pastry chef, a chef that specializes in appetizers and one that specializes in main dishes may be the first to sign on.
But what types of food will they be making?
Stone baked pizza is always going to be on the menu, as well as items from the grill. Branan hopes to incorporate a specialty menu that rotates every few weeks with a new theme or style of cooking.
“One week it could be Italian, and the next it could be Morrocan,” Branan explained.
The food is still in the planning stages, so the ideas could change or become more elaborate between now and the opening.
Branan also hopes to have a good selection of desserts, noting very few places in the province have anything extravagant like tiramisu.
Although there could still be a few hiccups along the way, Branan is much more confident that things will progress quickly and The Stone Jug will become a reality.
There have been numerous hold ups for the developer after stop work orders were issued on the workspace. The reasoning, he said, was because someone kept reporting him for workplace, health and safety violations. When the situation was dealt with, it would happen again.
The same situation has cropped up with tearing down the neighbouring building, costing more than twice the intended price tag for demolition.
There were also issues with permits, especially the occupancy permit. But, after working through some issues with the provincial government and getting an architect involved in his project, things are smoothly sailing.
But nothing has deterred Branan or his team from pushing forward and preparing to open up.
He is very passionate about historic properties, which is why this project is very important to him. And, although he would not confirm how much money he has spent on the building, rumours have placed that figure at over a million dollars.
Branan is also happy to see some growth in the area, and can’t wait for his business to be a focal point for entering Carbonear’s downtown.
Workers have recently been focusing on the wall of The Stone Jug property that was adjacent to the former Easy Save building on Water Street. The latter building is currently being torn down.