By Jennifer Smith
Entering The Skunk & Goat Tavern, your nose is usually greeted with a variety of enticing smells – from bitters at the bar to spicy firecracker shrimp, juicy burgers and fries coming out of the kitchen.
This week the restaurant looks – and smells – a little different. The aroma includes fresh paint, floor wax and cleaner as the pub prepares for the New Year with a brief shutdown for improvements.
“Our goal is to reset, reorganize and return in a few weeks ready to rock 2021,” said General Manager Christina Davis, who was also so excited she helped demo the dated kitchen flooring.
The changes started with a new floor in the kitchen and carried over into the dining room where the historic hardwoods were given a facelift and the entire dining space was sanitized and deep cleaned.
But it’s more than the floor that’s getting an update in the kitchen, according to Chef John Bouquin.
“We took a look at the entire space, how we use it and how we can make it more efficient and easier to use,” Bouquin said.
The result is a new organizational system and workflow, along with additional prep space and a new oven to handle more catering orders. Updated equipment, including new coolers and a grill, were also added.
“This is a great opportunity to really make the kitchen something special,” Bouquin said.
He began putting his unique spin on the food and events at The Skunk & Goat during 2020 and is now adding his touch to the kitchen.
Chef Bouquin introduced outdoor grilling with spiedie sandwiches during the Saturday Market in Gibson Park, started a Supper Club on Wednesday nights with home-cooking favorites and began offering fresh dough pizzas from a mobile brick oven in the parking lot.
“In 2021, look for a refreshed food and drink menu featuring fresh dough pizza and more of Chef Bouquin’s creations,” Annē Lewis, director of Marketing for Red Letter Hospitality, said. “In addition, The Skunk & Goat will take the brick oven on the road, bringing the mobile unit to parties and events.
“We are so excited to invest in our hometown and its people, to make The Skunk & Goat an even better place for our employees, customers and community.”