After overcoming a few construction hurdles, the old gas station on Hixson Pike-across from the old Greenlife-should be converted into a new café called TheFarmer’s Daughter in a couple of months.
“We are rocketing forward very quickly,” co-owner Mike Mayo said Tuesday. “I’ll be really happy if we’re open by July.”
Mayo and his wife and co-owner, Ann Keener, have been working on the project for more than a year. The duo wanted to maintain the architectural integrity of the building, and figuring out how to do that while still accommodating their vision took some time, Mayo said Tuesday.
Keener, who grew uponSequatchie Cove Farmand learned how to cook seasonal farm produce, is the café’s namesake.
She followed her love of cooking to Mexico and Ireland, where she honed her craft through internships and cookery courses, she said, according to Nooga.com archives.
She and Mayo want to support local foods and the area’s farmers, they told Nooga.com last March.
The duo will start with only breakfast and lunch but will eventually expand to dinner, drinks and carryout, Mayo said.
The space is about 4,000 square feet, and there will be two outside seating areas. One will be about 1,800 square feet of covered seating, and the other will be about 1,500 square feet of open seating, according to archives.
“We just got our parking lot done and finished the major part of our outside space,” Mayo said. “It’s amazing how it really ties it all together. Inside, we are building our bars and tables, painting the walls and moving equipment into the kitchen. We’ll probably be doing that for another 30 days or so.”
The duo’s landlord is Chuck Pruett, who is the former owner of Greenlife. In May 2010, Pruett sold Greenlife to Whole Foods. Pruett isn’t an investor and doesn’t have any equity in the business, Keener said.
She and Mayo are grateful for the ideal space for their café.
“Since we are young entrepreneurs, we are fortunate that anyone would even think about leasing us any space, much less such a beautiful space in such a perfect location, and for that opportunity we are grateful,” she said Tuesday via email.
The old gas station at the corner of Vine Street and Georgia Avenue is also being turned into a restaurant.