The city and the Myriad Gardens Foundation have been unable to find an operator for the restaurant. The one bid submitted by the Deep Fork Restaurant Group proposed a burger and shake eatery and was rejected.
Heffernan, hired as foundation director after the restaurant was built, hopes the temporary eatery might show how a permanent restaurant can succeed at the gardens.
“We asked a number of local places, but they were all too busy to open a holiday cafe. But we found Caliber, and we're all very excited about it,” she said.
The eatery will have a rotating menu with soups, salads, deserts, hot chocolate, coffee and cider, she said. “It will be very family friendly — they'll sometimes be making mac and grilled cheese sandwiches, black angus hot dogs, chicken salads and wraps,” Heffernan said.
The eatery is set to stay open through the end of the Devon Ice Rink season in late January. Heffernan suggested the eatery might remain longer if it is popular with visitors.
In the meantime, Heffernan said the restaurant has been rented out for banquets, weddings and special events. Nonprofit groups have been allowed to use the space for discounted rates, and sometimes for free.
“We're still looking for a permanent operator,” Heffernan said. “We have leads we are pursuing. Caliber won't be the ultimate operator. But this will be a very interesting way to test the water.”
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If you go
Myriad Botanical Gardens
Pop-up shop schedule:
Nov. 29 to Dec. 7:
Dec. 11 to 15:
Dec. 17 to 24:
Devon Ice Rink schedule:
The rink opens Nov. 23. The schedule will be Mondays and Tuesdays, 3 p.m. to 8 p.m., Wednesdays and Thursdays, 3 p.m. to 10 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays 10 a.m. to 11 p.m., Sundays 10 a.m. through 8 p.m.