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Historically during the weekends, the wait at Granville Moore’s has bordered on the absurd or, to put it in more recent terms, on the lobster truck-esque. Some folks willingly wander around the Atlas District for two hours or more in order to secure a table at chef Teddy Folkman‘s moules frites emporium.
Which is the main reason why the proposed expansion of Granville Moore’s can’t come fast enough.
“We are definitely going to be expanding,” Folkman told Y&H last week. “We don’t know if it’s going to be downwards or sideways, but it is definite that we’re going to expand. It’s frustrating to have a wait, people wanting to eat, and not having the space; the kitchen’s capable of cranking out more food. Even though [the kitchen] is only 12o square feet, we’re getting it really down to a science, especially with the addition of Maria Evans, the new chef de cuisine…She’s really taken that place to another level.”
There are limitations and issues with both options, however. An expansion into the basement will require an excavation team to remove all the concrete down there. An expansion into the empty space to the right will require more paperwork.
“We don’t know what is going to get more bang for the buck, whether it’s going down or going to the side,” Folkman says. “Plus, if we go down, we have total control of everything; then we don’t have to have another landlord and worry about leases and all the legal stuff.”
Granville’s wants to add only 26 seats, which doesn’t seem excessive until you consider again the tiny size of the kitchen. I should add this about Granville’s kitchen, too: As currently configured, half of it is dedicated to dish-washing.
But Folkman has a plan for expanding his cooking space as well. It’s complicated. There’s presently a room upstairs where Granville’s stores its cases of Belgian beer. Folkman hopes to convert that space into a dish-washing room. In order to do so, however, Granville’s has to finish two projects: the construction of new shelving around the restaurant and the installation of a new walk-in refrigerator, which will allow Team Granville to turn the old walk-in into a keg room, complete with a full-fledged tap system. At present, Granville’s uses only sixtel keg fridges behind the bars for taps.
Completion of both projects will free up space to store beer around the establishment — and eventually free up space for Folkman to double the size of his working kitchen.
“We might actually add ovens, which I would be thrilled about. It’s like, ‘Wow, ovens! What can I do with that?” Folkman says. “Desserts, instead of having to outsource them, we can make them in-house. It’s going to give us a lot more flexibility.”
Given all the work involved to squeeze more people into Granville’s, and to make the operation more efficient to handle these extra diners, you might be asking yourself a logical question: Why doesn’t Granville Moore’s just open a second location?
“We don’t want to open another Granville Moore’s because I don’t think you could really do that,” Folkman says. “It’s like seeing a Ben’s Chili Bowl in another location. It’s just not going to be Ben’s Chili Bowl.”
Construction at Granville’s should start this fall. A completion date is open ended, Folkman says, depending on the availability of construction crews and, of course, on the money to pay for the work.