State College

After years in the works, ‘farm to plate’ RE Farm Cafe is now open

After years of planning and repurposing, Duke and Monica Gastiger have unveiled the project they have been working on for the better part of seven years — RE Farm Cafe.

Wednesday is opening day for the restaurant, which is located at 1000 Fillmore Road in Patton Township and takes farm to table to a new level. The menu rotates meals often depending on what produce is in season on the farm. Customers are encouraged to visit the website in order to see what the cafe will be serving weekly.

“All the ingredients come from the farm, so it really is farm to plate here,” Monica Gastiger said.

The idea for RE Farm came from the Gastigers’ decades of experience in the restaurant industry. After participating in a composting project, Duke Gastiger said he realized their restaurant Spats Cafe and Speakeasy, which closed last year, wasted approximately 2,600 pounds of food a month.

“We wanted to create a restaurant where food and energy wouldn’t be wasted,” Monica Gastiger said.

The Gastigers expanded on the idea of implementing energy efficient concepts to their farm that any member of the community could use in their everyday lives.

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Duke and Monica Gastiger outside of RE Farm Cafe on Monday. The project that has been their dream for the past seven years is now open. Abby Drey adrey@centredaily.com

The 57-acre farm includes a barn, a mobile chicken coop, an organic garden and the cafe only a short walk away from the barn.

The name was inspired by the Gastigers’ mission to reuse, repurpose and restore as much as possible.

“Everything inside of the cafe is made up of things we repurposed along with things that were donated to us,” Monica Gastiger said.

Every feature inside the cafe was repurposed and has a story, Monica Gastiger said. The hardwood floors, for example, had originally been in the State College Area High School. They now map the way to their dining room with windows that showcase the farm and garden.

“These floors were originally from State High prior to renovation, and these doors are from an old church. All of our plates were found from thrift stores or donated,” she said.

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The “shovelier” in RE Farm Cafe. Items from around the community were repurposed throughout the cafe, including hard wood floor in the front entry from State High’s old stage. Abby Drey adrey@centredaily.com

With an open floor plan, the cafe was designed to allow the customer to see everything going on behind the scenes as the chef prepares meals.

The induction cooking suite is the centerpiece for the open concept kitchen. It’s where the customers will order their food, and they’ll be able to watch their meal being prepared.

This suite will make RE Farm one of the only induction users in the United States, and will help them on their mission to conserve energy while creating healthy foods.

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The staff of RE Farm Cafe prep in the custom built induction kitchen on Monday. The induction kitchen is one of a kind, and will be 85% more energy efficient. Abby Drey adrey@centredaily.com

Duke Gastiger said the use of induction is faster and more energy efficient. This method also decreases smoke, grease and fumes along with making for an easy cleanup.

The cafe is implementing a reservation-only policy in order to monitor how much food is needed in order for none to go to waste, according to the Gastigers.

Starting Wednesday, tickets will be available for purchase online, and the customer is to bring the ticket to the cafe with them. They will then be able to order what they would like from the cafe and enjoy the view of the farm in either the dining room or cafe area.

“A lot of waste comes from people not showing up for reservations, so we thought if they bought the ticket in advance, then they are more likely to show,” Duke Gastiger said.

The cafe will also feature cooking classes, guest chefs, and a BYOB policy. The Gastigers have already hosted a wedding on the property, and hope to hold more events.

For more information or to make a reservation, visit https://refarmcafe.com/.

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