DUNNING – Most summer projects are leisurely: reading any number of books, learning to build a cabinet, biking for however many miles, but the basic idea remains the same. Give yourself the whole season to get it done, in increments, at your own pace.
Enter Jodi Swisher’s summer project philosophy: buy a building, completely renovate the interior, get it up to code, install a kitchen, engineer an entire menu, and be on track to open the Spur just after Labor Day. All in a month, for good measure. Why not?
Swisher, a full-time manager at the Halsey 4-H camp, floats the story as nonchalantly as a Frisbee.
“It became open, and my husband and I had a chance to buy it, and we jumped on it. We talked about it a few years ago, and this came open about three months ago, and we said, ‘Yeah, let’s do it.’ It’s something I’ve always wanted to do.”
It isn’t just the property’s purchase that has been swift and decisive: the gutting and interior renovations have only just begun; the project was started at the end of July. The efficiency is all the more impressive when Jodi reveals how many have thrown their weight behind the project.
“We’ve got our contractors, that’s two, and then we have four employees, plus me and my husband, and our electrician. That’s about all we’ve had. It’s been awesome.”
Just because the project has unfolded quickly does not mean the journey has been a breeze; Swisher says the inherited space was a touch below Michelin Star quality. “Well, you know, it was a bay where they used to change oil, so it’s been a lot of work, but they’ve done an amazing job in there.”
Included in the renovations are: a fenced-in beer garden complete with a gravel patio, raised ceilings, and exposed wood, which should prove to morph the old automotive garage into a cozier, cabin-like atmosphere, which according to the Fire Marshall, should seat around 70 to 75 people. “Just about right,” Swisher says.
Jodi reveals there will be a few clever interior touches as well once the doors are finally thrown open.
“Our co-owner, he’s got spurs that he’s collected forever. They will eventually be hung up. Hence the name, ‘The Spur.’”
While the Spur’s interior has been laid pretty bare, its menu, Swisher laughs, will stay under wraps until the restaurant’s grand opening later this month. “It’s going to be a secret. Some goodies and things.”