The Squash Blossom Mead-Tasting Room is now open for business! True to our permaculture philosophy, we built this room in our 100+-year-old barn mostly by ourselves using mostly reused and repurposed materials. We think the final outcome is beautiful and we are so [proud of this space! Here is a little tour, highlighting our DIY repurposing efforts.
When you arrive, you will enter on a paved path created from unusual three-legged pavers we found on FB Marketplace.
Come inside! We attempted to preserve the vintage barn character we love while making everything sparkling and fresh.
The ceiling was constructed from walk-in-cooler panels, which Rog chose for their sturdiness, food-safe surface, high insulation, and ease of construction. I thought the silver pebbled aluminum surface was a bit boring and offered to stencil them with a pattern reminiscent of pressed tin ceiling tiles (and similar to our SBF logo!) We were both surprised and delighted by how they reflect the light and how elegant they look!
We installed used bowling alleys for the floor. These alleys are made from a phenolic material that looks exactly like wood but is impervious to pretty much everything, so very practical for our purposes.
The window ledge bar was made from a 16-foot church pew seat and the stools were another FB Marketplace find. (THe wall of plate glass windows came from Craigslist- the first farm improvement project we undertook when we moved here 13 years ago.)
The temperature-controlled chocolate display case (for our bean-to-bar chocolate and pastries) came from a chocolatier on Grand Avenue in St. Paul.
The furniture is all thrift store finds, of course.
Our beautiful bar top was made by an artist for a woman in Frontenac who built an authentic British pub in her basement. When she sold her house to a family with oodles of children they needed the space and sold us the bar top. The used kegerator and bar sink were found online.
Rog built the bar base from old farmhouse doors. We tiled the edge with rustic tiles and the floor behind the bar with the required quarry tiles, all found at the Restore.
The back bar was one of our most fortuitous finds! A huge cherry bookcase/shelving unit found at the ReStore, I imagine it might have once been in a law office.
We got the wine racks from the wine cellars of Chardonnay Restaurant when it closed many years ago.
I purchased the hanging lights about 10 years ago for $3 each at a thrift store. I told Rog then that they would be perfect if we ever built a meadery because they looked like honeycomb.
We have two special pieces of art in the bar, both of which we found listed on Marketplace. The huge etched glass window was being taken out of a house in the twin cities being renovated. We love this painting of a congenial bar scene, and in researching have learned that this painting once hung in the Loring Cafe and was painted by one of its employees in the 1980's.
We wanted to install mirrors on the back bar to reflect the light, and found these inexpensive hexagonal gold mirror tiles which have a sweet honeycomb effect.
Come check out our lovely tasting room for yourself and enjoy the 8 varieties-so far - of mead made from local honey (from The Bee Shed and from our own SBF hives.)! Our chef, Travis, is making the most delicious light fare to enhance your mead-tasting experience. Currently, the tasting room is OPEN Saturdays from 2 to 6 pm and Sundays from 1 to 3 pm, no reservations required.