We Bought A Bar!
the future home of
five marys burgerhouse!
We said we would never get back in to the restaurant business..... but here we are again. What started as a simple walk through out of curiosity when the for-sale sign went up, quickly became a deal we couldn't pass up. The building is two doors down from our Farm Shop in town and had a full commercial kitchen, walk-in refrigerators, beautiful back patio and backyard (phase two!) and has been the watering hole in town since the 1800's.
Brian and I keep thinking what a great location and cool old building it was, but just couldn't imagine opening a restaurant again. Days passed and I couldn't help but think of the possibilities. An email from the current owner made it hard to keep saying no when he explained that his grandmothers name was, in fact, Mary Heffernan, and as we traced the names back, figured out that he was related to Brian's ancestors who immigrated from Tipperary Co, Ireland to Brooklyn, New York three generations back!
It kind of felt like it was meant to be.
So we bought the bar at Thanksgiving and started a lightening speed transformation to open on New Years Eve. There were some long days and late nights, as we worked on the bar in between chores and shipping boxes and busy ranch life.
But it's our new favorite place to be and feels like an extension of our living room opened up to the local community and Five Marys visitors from all over.
Some photos of the "before".....
The Revamp: Day 1
First on the agenda... DEMO!
Once we removed the awesome taxidermy for cleaning and storage, it was time to start putting in some elbow grease. we had a vision for this bar from the beginning, it had such good bones it was easy to know the vibe we wanted for five marys.
We wanted a place for locals to gather for good drinks, great food and even better company with an atmosphere that would make you want to stay and enjoy yourself. Come as you are in your muddy boots, visit with friends and enjoy a meal with some of our five marys meats!
but first.... we had some work to do.
When we took out the existing bar back, we found a pocket of pure gold! Exposed brick where a window in the thick rock walls must have been patched up years ago. It took some work, but I chiseled away to expose a big section of it where the beer taps were going.
New bar back shelving came next!
This was the old bar back - a cabinet with glass behind (that used to have LED lights flashing in multiple colors all day long behind the liquor bottles :) but it seemed too small for the high ceilings and needed a little facelift. We kept the bottom part of the original cabinet but the top had been added more recently and we replaced that section.
We knew we wanted height and mixed materials (metal and reclaimed wood) but it took some thinking to get it right. At first we wanted it to look like the shelves up at camp in our outdoor kitchen with cubbies and sections.... but it was feeling too bulky so we went with open shelves on mixed materials we found around the ranch and some old barn board thick shelves from a place in oregon.
Brian and Andy our awesome contractor making the sketch a reality!
All mapped out in blue painters tape. we stuck pretty close to this minus the cubby dividers.
next stop: Metal shopping for the structure! This metal shop is close by and had everything we needed. We were so lucky to find so many materials and all of our labor and help right here in the valley.
This mushroom wood below we got in Oregon at Rogue Valley Lumber and is SO cool. It is dug up from caves growing mushrooms where the fungi eat the soft wood fibers and you're left with hard wood in relief. I love it!
Once we had the bar shelving built, we moved on to paint. We knew we wanted the color scheme to be Black and gold to show off the taxidermy and create the atmosphere we wanted. Lots and lots of paint samples and swatches later, we had our color palate down. DArk grey and black with metallic gold on the original tin ceiling.
those ceiling tiles are original but had been painted red - i love the shimmer they have again with the metalic paint!
Everything taped off and ready to paint! Goodbye green and red!
We joked that I had to convince the painter NOT to paint over the exposed brick! Although hesitant, he obliged and carefully masked off the brick and plaster that I had chiseled away. Once he was done, he agreed that it looked pretty good but thought i was crazy for not letting him plaster it.
AHHHHH!! So pretty with the primer!
There used to be a wall separating the main dining area from the pool table and arcade game room. We took that faux wall down and opened the space up to create one large dining room. We decided on a seating area with couches and benches close to the fire place to hang out and stay cozy on cold nights or hang out with a group of friends, some tall tables near the bar and lower tables and booths for large groups on the other side. We knew that this restaurant would facilitate families and friends catching up after long and busy work days so we made it easy to talk to the next table, move around and mingle.
All my black and gold dreams coming true!
A makeshift paint studio to spray all the chairs for the bar. Maisie got to try her hand at the spray gun. She was a natural!
While the paint dried, Brian worked on the tables with some locally milled wood a friend did. he got to play woodworker in another friend's cabinet shop to put these together into M5 tables with our brand and an easy to wipe surface!
good looking boards all planed and ready.
gotta get that m5 brand on there :)
When the paint was dry and we could clear out the construction equipment, we started to move back in. Tables and chairs filled the space, flags and taxidermy adorned the walls, lights and fixtures were put back in place. Although a little chaotic I could see the vision coming together. As I sat on the couch in the corner with this view, even in this state, I knew it was already our favorite place to hang out.
The star of the show! Libby, our favorite helper, was there painting and cleaning and most importantly keeping us laughing. Of course, she had to be our first customer giving us a huge "Its Libby!" smile!
I stayed late one night decorating the shelves behind the bar after everyone had gone home. I knew the aesthetic I was going for but needed to crank the music and make it happen. Transforming this blank slate to what is it now took a little time. A lot of placing, then stepping back and seeing if I still liked it, and adjusting. Its still a work in progress but I like the contrast of all the color the bottles and glasses against the neutral palate of older materials.
A mix of old and new furniture and decor filled the cozy spaces left once the tables were in place. A couple big couches, some more taxidermy from locals and friends, and artwork that found its perfect spot were placed and hung. Wooden hanging squares with all the local brands and their owners were brought back and hung in the hallway. The kids room, an office transformed into a movie room, was painted, wall papered and set with poufs, books and toys.
Getting the shelves in front ready with some M5 merchandise....
And so great to see the restaurant filling up with happy customers!
So here we are, settling into the new routine of evenings at the restaurant, meeting new people and enjoying the company of our neighbors and friends. We still have moments of "what were we thinking!?" but they're always followed by "this is so cool!".
We are happy to be sharing our meats and showcasing the Five Marys brand - and enjoying a few of those hard earned cocktails at the end of the day too of course!