Just before we go any further more, Kevin Andersen wants everyone to know 1 factor: Ember & Oak is open.
Yes, there’s development likely on inside of the dining home of the modern-day downtown Melbourne steakhouse. But there’s protected seating on the patio, and the wine place is pouring.
This is just not how the chef/operator of the 200-additionally seat location planned issues, but it is really 2020 and ideas this 12 months have been little additional than daydreams.
Again in January, Andersen was giddy about the coming months.
He and his partners had just bought the constructing in which they’d opened Ember & Oak in April 2019. They’d spent the relaxation of that year serving steakhouse meals in a modern Italian environment, ready to trade their lease for a mortgage loan and not wanting to set money in a constructing they didn’t own.
5 a long time earlier, the former call heart had been remodeled into a restaurant with loads of glass, granite and metal, plus a spacious piazza a fairly area, but not the heat, cozy vibe Andersen wanted to portray.
In February, Andersen talked about closing the restaurant for a handful of weeks in the summer time for renovations: new floors, velvet banquette seating, personal booths. Lots of wooden and leather-based. The target was a slide grand opening, unveiling a setting that matched the food items.
In March, COVID-19 pressured places to eat across the place to reinvent them selves. Ember & Oak, like other folks all over it, scrambled to modify its business enterprise model, supplying food kits, grocery delivery and brunch packing containers to go. Renovation plans have been shelved this was survival method.
The do the job finally commenced in early November. Alternatively of shutting down, a tent shades a substantial part of the outside seating area so visitors can dine al fresco while get the job done usually takes position in the dining space and kitchen. Soon after the lean pandemic months, closing fully, even for a few months, would have intended laying off the whole workers.
At minimum in this scenario, the pandemic dining preferences are an benefit.
“Shedding inside of seating has never ever been significantly less of an difficulty than it is proper now,” Andersen reported.
He is hoping to unveil the new dining place by New Year’s Eve.
“Ember & Oak will eventually be what it can be meant to be inside,” Andersen stated.
In addition to the U-formed booths and banquette seating, the dining space will element wood-seem flooring and new mild fixtures. The bar that ran the length of the eating place has been eradicated in favor of a bar and lounge at the entrance of the restaurant.
The kitchen is obtaining an improve, far too, with white subway tile partitions and a new hand-crafted Grills by Demant wooden-fired grill for steaks. A photo window in the kitchen will make it possible for friends to look at Ember & Oak’s cooks at perform.
The brick pizza oven that occupied a location around the entrance window has been moved to the again of the restaurant to be portion of a pasta bar, a precursor to what sooner or later will turn into a individual restaurant that includes residence-designed pasta and clean-baked bread.
Variations have currently taken place in the wine home. Like the wine, high-close whiskeys and tequilas are now obtainable in self-support dispensers. Friends can acquire pours of different measurements making use of a pre-paid card.
Sean Bach, who has labored in kitchens across Brevard, which includes The Fats Snook, Tuscany Grill and 28 North, will serve as chef de delicacies for Ember & Oak, although Carson Schiro, who worked with Andersen at Pattern Kitchen in Indian Harbour Beach, will maintain that position in the pasta bar and wine space.
Wine and spirits are out there for retail buy, and inevitably, the wine place also serve as a market with bread and other baked merchandise, as properly as household-designed pickles and jams.
The metropolis of Melbourne has been valuable with allowing and alterations along the way, as what started off as a facelift has turned into key renovations.
“The town is fully commited to the growth in downtown Melbourne,” Andersen mentioned.
The menu is constrained even though the remodel is finished, he mentioned.
“But we can even now do a perfect filet, seabass or cold salads,” he said.
When the eating area reopens, he said far more compact plate selections and reduced-priced steaks will be additional to the menu.
“We want every person to be able to appear and enjoy our new dining home,” he mentioned, “and that grill is heading to be a game-changer.”
Ember & Oak is at 712 E. New Haven Ave., downtown Melbourne. Call 321-722-6285 or visit EmberAndOak.com. Ember & Oak is open up 5-9 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday. The cafe will be open up for meal Tuesdays and Sundays starting in January, additionally Andersen explained he’s acquired entertaining strategies for Sunday brunch in the is effective.
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