NEBRASKA CITY, Nebraska (KLKN) – After a fire devastated and destroyed much of the Apple House at Arbor Day Farm and Porter’s BBQ Restaurant, the foundations are being rebuilt.
The Arbor Day Foundation held a groundbreaking ceremony on Friday to mark the start of the project, which is expected to be completed in 2022.
When complete, the restaurant and retail store will have a larger footprint with several new amenities aimed at educating the public on the impact of the Arbor Day Foundation. The new facility is highlighted by an educational viewing room that allows clients to gain insight into the global operations of the Arbor Day Foundation.
“Arbor Day Farm is where the mission of the Arbor Day Foundation comes to life,” said Austin Mackrill, vice president of Arbor Day Farm. “So while last fall’s fire was certainly devastating for everyone involved, it gave us a unique opportunity to re-imagine what Apple House Market and Porter’s restaurant could be like.
The new facility will remain on the existing site but will be modernized with a new vision, aimed at showing the mission of the foundation.
Below are some of the new features you can expect!
New viewing room gives visitors a glimpse of the Foundation’s global impact
The new facility will be showcased by an educational viewing room in the Apple House Market. The Observation Room will help visitors understand the global scope and scale of the Arbor Day Foundation’s work, with stories from around the world showing how the Arbor Day Foundation transforms communities through their experiences with trees. Depending on the season, the Observation Room will provide a direct line of sight for visitors to watch the trees being packed and prepared for shipping, apples sorted and cider pressed.
A new tasting room with an educational flavor
A new tasting room will become a destination space for learning more about the value of trees, while allowing individuals and groups to sample products grown locally and around the world in places where the Arbor Day Foundation helps communities to create economic value through trees. The Foundation’s Arbor Day range of cafes will be showcased with information about the villages and families the cafe helps support. Arbor Day farm wines and other local products that support the local agricultural economy will also be promoted.
Additional themed rooms are available for groups to meet
In addition to educational opportunities, the new Apple House Market facility will include two new meeting rooms available to visitors. The “Four Seasons Room” will capture the spirit and feel of a country porch and provide visitors with a place to relax, have a meal, meet and visit. It will increase Porter’s potential seating capacity throughout the year and will also be available for private functions or family reunions. In addition, a new flexible retail space will create opportunities for special events and seasonal activities.
The renovations to the facility will be paid for with fire insurance money and an additional $ 1.7 million in private donations. The new space is expected to be ready in early 2022.