FARMINGTON — A historic Front Street building, once the site of the Chester Greenwood earmuff factory, is undergoing alterations for the opening of The Greenwood Dining Room.

Farmington’s newest restaurant will open in August, owners John Moore and Jennifer Bjorn said.

From factory to dry cleaner to bike and stove shop, the newly renovated space at 168 Front St. can seat up to 60 and will share a kitchen with the Stone Hearth Cafe.

The Stone Hearth Cafe opened earlier this year in what was Northern Lights bike shop. After purchasing the Wicked Gelato business when it closed on Main Street, the owners renovated and installed a wood-fired oven in the former bike shop with plans for wicked gelato to meet wood-fired pizza, Moore said at the time.

Renovations on the main part of the building continued with no specific plans for it.

But there was a void in downtown Farmington when the Granary Restaurant closed, as did Wicked Gelato shortly after, Bjorn said.

“The Greenwood Dining Room offers people another choice,” she said.

It’s a reason to come to downtown Farmington … for dinner and a movie, Moore said.

Plans are to be open from 5 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Moore, who also owns Narrow Gauge Cinema across the street, will sell movie tickets for $3 with every entree, he said. It was an arrangement he had with the Granary, one the cinema has missed, he said.

They plan to start the new restaurant out slowly and progress, depending on the demand, he said.

The novice restaurateurs relied on the wisdom of Chef Doug Winslow when they opened the Stone Hearth Cafe, Moore said. Expanding on that business to open the restaurant, they continued to seek his experience and hired him as chef.

Winslow, raised in the Norway, Maine area, came to Farmington to be close to two of his four children. He came to love the area when his daughter, Sarah Marble of Farmington, started school here, he said.

“It’s a wonderful place with a different atmosphere,” he said of the Farmington area.

His culinary career has taken him around the country. The home being built in New Sharon is intended to be the last move for Winslow and his wife, he said. 

“I started cooking when I was 14 at a summer camp on Sebago Lake,” he said.

He likes to cook “good food,” which is seasoned properly to bring out the flavors and where the ingredients complement each other, he said.

The menu for the new restaurant is a “work in progress,” Winslow said. He believes in healthy cooking, but with everything in moderation.

The menu won’t be huge, but it will be good food, Moore said.

“We’ll focus on what we do well, and there will be a nutritious element in there,” he added.

Winslow’s training began in Kansas City at Johnson County Community College, one associated with the American Culinary Federation. 

“It was old world, old school, European cooking,” he said.

He did his apprenticeship with Westin Hotels and continued work with the company, including a position of head chef of the Westin Peachtree Plaza in Atlanta before he returned to Maine.

He was the executive chef at the Lucerne Inn for three years, working with Steve and Rhonda Jones, who started Steve’s Market in Wilton.

Helping to start the new business has been challenging but fun, Winslow said. It’s been great working with Jen and John, he said.

Like Farmington’s most famous inventor, whose factory produced more than 400,000 earmuffs by 1936 and employed many, Moore and Bjorn share his affinity for the town.

“We believe in Farmington,” Moore said. “We’re invested in Farmington.”

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