Business

RE Farm Cafe reopens search for restaurant location

Duke Gastiger plates a classic jerk chicken in his kitchen. Chef and owner of Spats Cafe and Speakeasy Duke Gastiger is the coordinatior for the 2015 Passport on a Plate fundraiser benefitting Global Connections January 12, 2015.
Duke Gastiger plates a classic jerk chicken in his kitchen. Chef and owner of Spats Cafe and Speakeasy Duke Gastiger is the coordinatior for the 2015 Passport on a Plate fundraiser benefitting Global Connections January 12, 2015. Centre Daily Times, file

Good food takes time.

That’s what Duke Gastiger, co-owner of Spats Cafe and The All-American Rathskeller, likes to say.

RE Farm Cafe won’t be an exception, according to Duke and Monica Gastiger, who said the restaurant will reopen its search for a location. The planned location in Ferguson Township on J.L. Farm is not a viable option for the farm-to-table restaurant.

John LeClair, the owner of J.L. Farm, said he still plans to open a cidery/winery called J.L. Farm and Cidery on the property. The cidery/winery is under construction, but there is not an opening date set.

“It’s sad to see Duke and Monica try to find a new location, because they are such wonderful people,” LeClair said. “I’ve known them for a long time, and I’m sure they will find a location that will be great for them and great for the community.”

State College-based PennTerra Engineering submitted land development plans to the township for the cafe, but the Gastigers are moving on from those plans.

“We are committed to creating a truly unique experience that is a destination spot for our customers,” Duke Gastiger said. “This type of specialty operation has very specific needs, and as we moved forward in the process, we realized it was necessary to find a different location for our project. As Monica and I have learned through our experiences with Spats Cafe and The All-American Rathskeller, we know that good food takes time. And we need to take the time necessary before embarking on this ambitious project.”

Monica Gastiger said RE Farm Cafe’s team would meet Tuesday to determine its highest needs and priorities, which will govern the search.

“People have been extremely supportive of this concept, so we wanted to keep everyone abreast of the progress,” Monica Gastiger said. “We are very excited about its prospects and hope to have news to share in the near future.”

They envision RE Farm Cafe as an educational resource on food, energy, land and responsible development that also offers locally sourced foods prepared by chefs and served in a unique atmosphere. Their goal is to be a model for sustainable development and agricultural diversification that can serve to preserve small farms and open space.

“We aren't just building a cafe, we are building community,” Monica Gastiger said.

Shawn Annarelli: 814-235-3928, @Shawn_Annarelli

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