MONTEREY — Ten months after the closure of the popular Roadside Store and Cafe on Route 23, Gould Farm progressing in the construction of his replacement.
A residential therapeutic and agricultural community that has run the town’s only restaurant since 1978, Gould Farm recently entered the public phase of the fundraising campaign it began in November to raise the funds needed to build what she calls it the “Roadside Cafe 2.0”.
Gould Farm raised $440,000 for the project in the private phase of the fundraising campaign and is seeking to raise an additional $110,000 in the first round of the public phase.
To move this process forward, an anonymous donor and the Gould Farm Board of Directors announced a $55,000 matching donation challenge last week, meaning they will match any additional contributions received by August 19 on an individual basis.
That match challenge has yet to be completed, Gould Farm director of development Melanie Brandston said Wednesday.
The entire project is expected to cost $1 million, but Brandston said $550,000 is enough to launch the Roadside Cafe 2.0 project and complete two-thirds of the build. Once the campaign reaches that threshold, Gould Farm can begin planning for construction, which will consist of site and prep work, according to executive director Lisanne Finston.
Gould Farm has yet to hire a contractor and the old building still needs to be demolished before work on the new building can begin, but Brandston and Finston said it was possible construction could start before completion. of this year.
“I think at this point in the game, every day takes us away from what’s going on, but who knows?” said Finston. “Depending on the weather and how much work on the site can be done at the end of the year, hopefully we can at least do some demolition.”
Once the $550,000 threshold is reached, Finston said Gould Farm would be able to move the project from the schematic design phase to the actual site and construction phase, which she says will include the process. authorization with the City of Monterey.
“The next step is really to have more detailed plans and get to town to go through our approval processes,” Finston said.
Finston said she expects the Conservation Commission will need to review the project and the new structure’s septic system will need to be reviewed before construction can begin.
“I don’t think we will need zoning,” she said. “We’ll just go through the usual permit process.”
The new restaurant will be built on the site of the old cafe, which was in a century-old building that once served as a gas station. The restaurant, staffed by Gould Farm residents, became known for its food, its lack of space and the employment opportunities it provided for people with mental health issues.
According to Brandston, the new building will be 2,000 square feet in size, double the size of the old one. It will contain a commercial kitchen, retail area, bakery counter, dining room and three bathrooms. Designed by Zac Culbreth Architecture of Great Barrington, the building will also be farther from Route 23 than the old one and will feature a 400 square foot patio for outdoor dining. Placing the new structure further from the road will provide more parking for customers, more space for green spaces and more space for outdoor dining, Brandston said.
In a nod to Roadside’s former use as a gas station, Brandston said the new structure could include an electric car charging station “if the possibility exists, but it takes a head start” compared to the current status of the project.
The fundraising campaign began in mid-November, less than a month after the old Roadside closed on October 30. According to Brandston, the board was prepared to contribute nearly $200,000 during the private phase of the capital campaign, but Gould Farm was unsure where the additional funds would come from.
“We learned that probably 99% of people who go to the roadside as customers don’t donate to Gould Farm in general,” she said. “So we had to do a lot of word of mouth and organize events as best we could because of COVID, letting people know that we needed to fundraise and anyone interested in making an investment could call to do so. to know.”
The hard work has paid off, but an extra boost may have come due to the town in which Gould Farm is located. During the fundraising process, Brandston said Gould Farm learned that the trustees of three major international foundations were Monterey residents and that their groups had all agreed to donate to the campaign.
Finston said the fundraising campaign will remain in the public phase until the $1 million goal is reached.
“We will seek to get as close to our goal as possible,” she said.