NEBRASKA CITY, Nebraska (KLKN) –After a fire devastated and destroyed much of the Arbor Day Farm’s Apple House and Porter’s barbecue restaurant, the foundation is re-building.
The Arbor Day Foundation hosted a groundbreaking ceremony on Friday to mark the start of the projected, which is expected to be completed in 2022.
Upon completion, the restaurant and retail shop will boast a larger footprint with several new amenities aimed at educating the public about the Arbor Day Foundation’s impact. The new facility is highlighted by an educational viewing room that allows patrons a glimpse into the Arbor Day Foundation’s global operations.
“Arbor Day Farm is where the Arbor Day Foundation’s mission comes to life,” said Austin Mackrill, vice president of Arbor Day Farm. “So, while the fire last fall was certainly devastating for all involved, it presented us with a unique opportunity to re-imagine what the Apple House Market and Porter’s restaurant facility could be.”
The new facility will remain at the existing site but will be upgraded with a new vision, aimed at showing the mission of the foundation.
Below are just some of the new features that can be expected!
New viewing room gives visitors a peek at the Foundation’s global impact
The new facility will be highlighted by an educational viewing room in the Apple House Market. The viewing room will help visitors understand the worldwide scope and scale of the Arbor Day Foundation’s work, featuring stories from around the world that demonstrate how the Arbor Day Foundation is transforming communities through their experiences with trees. Depending on the season, the viewing room will provide a direct line of sight for visitors to watch the trees be packaged and prepared for shipment, apples sorted and cider pressed.
A new tasting room with a flavor for education
A new tasting room will become a destination space for learning more about the value trees provide, while allowing individuals and groups to sample products grown locally and around the world in locations where the Arbor Day Foundation is helping communities create economic value through trees. The Foundation’s line of Arbor Day Coffees will be featured along with information about the villages and families that the coffee helps support. Arbor Day Farm wines and other local products that promote the local farming economy will also be promoted.
Additional themed rooms available for groups to gather
In addition to the educational opportunities, the new Apple House Market facility will boast two new meeting rooms for visitors to use. The “Four Seasons Room” will capture the spirit and feel of a country front porch and offer visitors a place to relax, enjoy a meal, meet and visit. It will expand potential seating of Porter’s throughout the year and also be available for private functions or family gatherings. In addition, new retail flex space will create opportunities for special events and seasonal activities.
The facility renovations will be paid for by insurance money from the fire and an additional $1.7 million in private donations. The new space is expected to be ready in early 2022.