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Restaurants use closures to renovate

Uncertainty leads to opportunity for local establishments

Photo by Janelle Patterson Aluminum coated steel sheeting gets adhesive glue applied Thursday as part of the kitchen remodel at The Busy Bee in Marietta.

When health restrictions due to coronavirus began limiting restaurant foot traffic in March, some local businesses took the uncertain time as an opportunity to remodel, renovate and refresh their spaces.

“We did extensive work, some of the stuff we did, we couldn’t have done without a significant shutdown for a few weeks,” said John Lehman, owner of the Galley, Adelphia Music Hall and Hackett Hotel on Second Street. “But here we got two months and refinished, reassembled and will have it ready to open Monday after what we call hospital cleaned.”

The Galley’s bar, circa 1899, was disassembled and refinished, Lehman said, in addition to bathroom renovations upstairs for both the banquet hall and the hotel rooms.

Third Street Deli redesigned kitchen space for efficiency and added a drive-thru pick up window. The Town House renovated its kitchen and bathrooms and the Busy Bee not only cosmetically rearranged its dining indoors but has expanded an outdoor patio and overhauled its kitchen.

“My dad, my kids, my wife, our friends and all of our contractors have poured so much into this,” said Larry Sloter, owner of the Busy Bee. “Yes, we are pushing back out the opening date to June 16, but we’re doing that so this is done right and so that when you come back it’s more efficient, effective, you have more options and you see what we’ve been dreaming up for years.”

Photo by Janelle Patterson Larry Sloter looks over architecture plans Thursday as renovations continue at The Busy Bee in Marietta.

Sloter said without the team effort of Insley Plumbing, Morrison Inc., Promanco, Donnie Earley, Redneck Handyman Service, Kunz Home Improvement and Gibson Heating and Cooling, the dream of expansion back into a full breakfast and lunch restaurant couldn’t have been realized.

June 8 is the reopening goal at the Town House on Front Street, where owner Nathan Matheny was overseeing the hanging of a new shelf Thursday.

“We did a lot inside, new bathrooms, new plumbing and created a new walk-in,” said Matheny. “We’re shooting for June 8 if we can get it all done.”

Plumber Jonathan Insley said renovations at both the Busy Bee and Town House have kept his crews working throughout the pandemic and both are jobs he was thankful to participate in.

Likewise at Third Street Deli, the time is right to not only to add the pickup window and paint, but also expand the menu and service hours for breakfast.

Photo by Janelle Patterson Jen Tinkler explains to Grayer Woods, left, how to operate the new pickup window at Third Street Deli Thursday in Marietta.

“It’s something I’ve been wanting to add for a while and it makes sense here,” said Jen Tinkler, manager of the deli. “At the beginning of this we tried the delivery and carry out at first to keep our people, but then when that unemployment and aid was expanded, Marty and Gerald (Moore, owners) agreed we could do the painting and renovations.”

Tinkler was also excited Thursday to see new lights added to the existing business sign facing Third Street, hoping to catch the eyes of passersby and eyeing herself what space she has to work with to distance outdoor tables on the city sidewalk while maintaining safe passage for pedestrians.

“The tables we’re still figuring out how to arrange out here and inside, and the plexiglass is going up this week at the counter, too,” she said.

The deli is slated to open June 9, with additions like quinoa grain bowls, pancake wraps and breakfast sandwiches.

“That’s what I’m looking forward to the most,” she laughed as she previewed the menu.

Both Tinkler and Sloter noted they’re working to align with continued health guidance for distancing and patron separation as they eye their June reopening dates.

Janelle Patterson may be reached at jpatterson@mariettatimes.com.

At a glance:

• The Galley, Town House, Third Street Deli and Busy Bee restaurants spent the last two months renovating after coronavirus concerns slowed foot traffic.

• The Galley reopens Monday.

• The Town House reopens June 8.

• Third Street Deli reopens June 9.

• The Busy Bee reopens June 16.

Source: Times research.

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