FARMINGTON — When Jon and Lois Bubier pondered what to do with property they purchased on Front Street, they were sure of one thing.
"The town is ripe for growth. It's worthy of investment," Jon Bubier said Wednesday standing in their newly opened restaurant/lounge, The Company, located at 103 Narrow Gauge Square, a corner lot bordering Front Street.
"It's about investing in Farmington. It's not about me," he said.
After demolishing an old garage with a plan to build using local contractors and products, a promised tenant for the space didn't work out. The Bubiers then decided to open the restaurant space themselves and operate it in conjunction with their store, Ron's Market.
The Company kitchen offers full course meals, lunches and appetizers from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday and until 11 p.m Thursday through Saturday, he said. The lounge is open until 1 a.m. Thursday through Saturday.
One already popular item is a wooden paddle holding five glasses where customers can choose five samples of the 24-beers on tap. Called "flights of beer" the six ounce glasses are beautiful when filled with the different colored beverages, said employee Eric Heath. Once people see one ordered everyone wants one, he said.
Four or five different plates are offered daily and they try to use ingredients from local farmers and growers, Jon Bubier said.
"The focus has been local contractors, local supplies," he added.
Furniture created by Dan Maxham of Sugarwood Galleries seats up to 65, he said.
A red oak bar top and glass holder were handcrafted from wood left to weather at Gould Lumber in Avon. The oak was restored by employee Neil Silkman who created his own tool to make the bar edge.
The Company employs about 25, Bubier said. Along with the store employees, there are now about 40 on the payroll. It's a great staff, he said.
The couple's first venture in owning a restaurant has provided some challenges. State and town licensing regulations need to be streamlined and simplified for any new business, Bubier said.
"We put our heart, soul and wallet in this," he said.
The downtown restaurants are banding together and working with Greater Franklin Development Corp. to bring people in from outside Farmington for a meal, shopping or a movie, he said.