With progress of Feast and Fareway restaurant two months in at Coronado Municipal Golf Course, guests are already seeing changes to the site that will expand into several scenic bayfront venues when it opens next spring.
“We’re in the pre-construction phase of creating a space that will make the restaurant’s indoor/outdoor ambiance really come alive,” says Rise and Shine co-founder Johan Engman, who partnered with John Rudolph of Harry’s Coffee Shop and Tom Penn of Real Restaurant Solutions for the project. “It’s a really gorgeous place.”
You might know Engman and his inspired cuisine from his notable local restaurants Breakfast Republic, Fig Tree Cafe, El Jardin and North Park Breakfast Company. And like these establishments with their charming inception stories — the idea for Breakfast Republic, for example, came to Engman while sitting out a downpour by a hut next to a river in Borneo — Feast and Fareway, too, has an individual tale, albeit slightly more straightforward.
“The city put out an RFP (request for proposal) and my co-founder John Rudolph had the idea to see what we could do here,” Engman explains. “We were excited to win the bid and get the opportunity to turn the space into something different and beautiful. I definitely call myself an opportunist, and this was a phenomenal opportunity.”
What the Rise and Shine group is now cooking up for the current site is a space with several very different areas for dining and relaxing. First is a wood-infused, teal-accented dining room offering classic, creative American cuisine with local, seasonal accents. Adjacent will be a breakfast/lunch restaurant that doubles as a spacious events area; sections can be closed off by partitions adorned with vertical gardens to suppress sound and enhance privacy. Wrapping around the building will be a comfortable patio area, partially covered and occupied by a broad rectangular bar, while another section will be an uncovered lounge that sprawls beneath twinkling lights. Finally, a fleet of roving golf carts will deliver drinks and snacks throughout the 6,530-yard, par-72 course.
“I’m always a big fan of doing a lot without doing a lot, and doing things that don’t cost an arm and a leg,” Engman says.
As for challenges of the visible construction phase, which will begin in January, Engman is hard-pressed to come up with any. He does note, though, that there will be major enhancements to the current food prep and cooking facilities. “The kitchen will have really big changes because if we have a wedding in the event space and the dining room is full, we need a kitchen that will be effective, where we can make sure food comes out at a good pace,” he says. “So we’re making an investment there, to be sure we can serve good food, with good service, at pace that’s acceptable.”
The success of Feast & Fareway, however, is balanced on more than just cuisine and activities. Engman emphasizes that much of the site’s use will be for weddings. Drawn into the plans between the restaurant and the water is an outdoor chapel, complete with a transportable arbor, seating for up to 300 guests, and a swing for two set in a knoll beneath the course’s massive, gnarled trees.
One of the first weddings scheduled when Feast and Fareway opens in April is Engman’s own.
“I told everyone that if we’re not finished by then, I will have much bigger problems than the restaurant not being ready,” he jokes.” But of course we have a solid plan all the way through, and we will open on schedule. It’s a situation with a city partnership, and our success is also this city’s success.”
Councilmember Whitney Benzian agrees. He looks forward to “this being a restaurant that the whole community can enjoy. It will be a wonderful place for families and golfers alike to enjoy the views with great food and service. It is one of the city’s best assets and we hope more residents will come down to appreciate it.”