by Andrew Martin
Plans to open a new restaurant in Morristown are moving ahead quickly. Jim Goldsmith and his wife Kim Kaufman, the owners of the Blue Donkey Restaurant in Stowe, will be closing on the purchase of the former Melben’s Restaurant in Morrisville on Friday, March 29. Goldsmith and Kaufman plan to open a new restaurant in the building after purchasing it from Union Bank and renovating it.
“We had been talking with our banker David Silverman (of Union Bank) about opening up another restaurant,” explained Goldsmith via phone interview, “…He was very encouraging with regards to us taking a look in Morrisville and he got us a look at the Melben’s building.”
“The business climate and enthusiasm for business in Morristown was the deciding factor,” continued Goldsmith on explaining their decision to come to Morrisville, “We have worked in other areas that are much more difficult in terms of permitting. Town officials in Morrisville have been tremendous in terms of helping us get organized and with the permitting process.”
According to Goldsmith they plan to build a pub style bar, restaurant, and internet café in the 5000 square foot former restaurant and train station, which is located at 10 Railroad Street. Carter Construction, of Morrisville, is in the process of working with Goldsmith and Kaufman on both interior and exterior plans to renovate the building. If all goes according to plan then work on the building should begin on April 1.
“We want to get in there as soon as possible,” explained Goldsmith, “The building is basically a shell right now…it was cleaned out when the previous restaurant closed.”
The renovation and remodeling of the building will aim to bring back the history of the building as a 100-year old former railroad station. As a part of those efforts Goldsmith and Kaufman are pricing out a one-of-a-kind zinc bar with an iron base that would have railroad ties for kickstands.
“It would have a very heavy duty industrial type look,” stated Goldsmith. He went on to explain that the bar would seat approximately 35 patrons and would be horseshoe shaped.
Once the renovations and remodeling of the building are complete the new restaurant would seat somewhere between 150 and 200 people despite being permitted for many more.
Along with finalizing the purchase Goldsmith and Kaufman are also in the process of finalizing the name of their new restaurant and should make a final selection sometime in the next few days. They are also in the process of creating a menu for the new restaurant. According to Goldsmith one alternative being considered is a ‘Choose Your Own Cut’ option in which patrons would choose their cut of meat out of a glass cooler available for viewing.
“We want the menu to center on traditional Vermont and American food,” explained Goldsmith, “We are also considering having some local game on the menu.”
Goldsmith indicated that if all renovation and remodeling work goes according to plan, he and his wife are hoping to open the restaurant just before the Fourth of July this summer.
“We are very excited about the opportunity to become part of Morrisville,” stated Goldsmith, “We are looking forward to opening a quality restaurant and bar in a town on the rise.”