Stone Jug al­most ready to open

His­toric prop­erty’s owner more op­ti­mistic af­ter sort­ing through is­sues

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BY MELISSA JENK­INS

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.

Menu

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.

Open­ing de­lays

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.

PHOTO BY MELISSA JENK­INS/THE COM­PASS

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.

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