A soon-to-be-named farm to table restaurant is set to open in downtown Mason next year.
Formerly known as the Baja Grille, the space in Building 402 was shut down in 2015 due to an electrical fire. Teresa Wren and her husband Steve own the South Jefferson location and are moving forward with the renovation with hopes of transforming it into a local foodie’s dream.
Jeff Vanhorn, 30, is the Good Bites food truck sous chef. He says people can expect a seasonal menu that rotates about four to six times per year. They plan to continue incorporating fresh, locally sourced ingredients for their menu from nearby farms including Titus Farms and Ten Hens.
Vanhorn describes the community’s response as enthusiastic, especially since Mason is home to a handful of restaurants.
“Everyone’s excited,” Vanhorn said. “We get asked daily ‘when’s it opening?’ and ‘what’s going on there?’
Concept wise, the sit-down restaurant will feature an open kitchen. He explained that once the construction of the space is at a more completed state then they can get a feel for the atmosphere and proceed with design decisions.
A current food truck menu favorite among customers is the mac and cheese, which Vanhorn says he’s “sure will be incorporated somewhere,” in the brick and mortar restaurant.
“The ball’s rolling and we’re finally getting to a point where we can go in there hopefully,” Vanhorn said.
Teresa Wren, owner of Building 402 and Kean’s Store Company, says although the renovations of the building are happening “slowly, but surely,” there haven’t been any major issues. The two new apartments planned for the upper level of the restaurant have already been rented out.
(A view of Building 402 located next to Keans Store Company. Photo By: Sylvia Jarrus)
“I’ve always had apartments up there so it’s just nice to get them rented again.” she said.
While the new name of the restaurant is still in the works, a popular name being thrown around that could possibly stick is The Village Pantry.
(Jena Keller outside of her Salon 130 on Sept. 24, 2019 in downtown Mason.)
“We’re all really excited,” said longtime Mason resident and owner of Salon 130, Jena Keller. “I think you should build community around restaurants anyway.”