The re-launching of the Historic Palace, so to speak, has been delayed slightly, but Greg Woodard, owner of the new Palace establishment who also owns the historic building at the corner of Main and Oak, said the little bit of a wait will be well worth it.
The Palace Kitchen+Craft Bar was scheduled to open today. But Woodard said changes that continue to be made to improve the establishment continue to be made and that has caused a slight delay. He said the establishment will now open on Friday, December 2.
Woodard also described the establishment as being a restaurant/art gallery as it will feature works by local artists.
“We’ve made some really interesting changes,” Woodard said. “It’s caused us some delay but we’re excited about what we’ve done, what we’ve got going.”
Fugazzi’s Restaurant, which has locations throughout Tulare and Kings Counties, had been operating in the building for a couple of years until it closed on October 31. The owners of Fugazzi’s retired and gave those involved in the restaurant at its various locations to continue to be involved and keep the Fugazzi’s name going.
But Woodard said after being given that option, he decided to buy the restaurant himself and re-brand it as The Palace Kitchen+Craft Bar. Virtually all of the management and staff who worked at Fugazzi’s Porterville location will remain at the new restaurant.
Woodard described the establishment as where the old meets the new. He added the restaurant will be where the Old West meets new California cuisine.
The site is generally considered the place where Royal Porter Putnam founded the city of Porterville. The Palace Hotel was built at the site in 1890.
Ever since he has owned the building, Woodard has had major renovations done at the site. Woodard said the frame still reveals the original brick exterior of the 1800s.
The site housed the hotel, a general store and the Wells Fargo stagecoach office. Woodard said the north side of the current establishment where there will be private dining one will still be able to see the original windows and the remaining black flu pipes nearby that ran to the old potbelly stoves to keep tenants warm in the winter.
“Our restaurant décor pays homage to our famous founder with historic imagery from eras gone by as well as featuring our local artists throughout the restaurant with different works that can be admired as well as purchased directly from the artist,” Woodard said.
“Whether it’s our history, art, locally sourced food or our occasional live entertainment it’s our way to showcase our great resources that are so abundant in this area where we remember the old while welcoming the new.”
Among the restaurant’s offerings will be Harris Ranch beef. Also to be featured will be seasonal seafood, local produce and fruits along with craft cocktails using small batch distilleries from San Luis Obispo County, fine wines that come from Santa Barbara to Monterey Counties and craft beers from all over Central California.
“You will find a friendly local staff with a lively atmosphere,” Woodard said.
He said the second floor where the restaurant will be located will provide for a variety of dining options from large open air window seats to view Main Street to private dining from anywhere from 12 to 100.
“Whether it’s a limited special menu item, a flight of cocktails or win to make sure you didn’t pass up the one you really din’t know you’d like to local artists and musicians that might be different the next time you come back to see us it’s sure to be an experience that’s above the rest,” Woodard said.
Woodard also described the establishment as a place for friends, food, family and fun.”
The restaurant will be open from 4 to 10 pm Monday through Thursday and 4 to 11 pm Friday and Saturday. It’s planned within a couple of weeks of the restaurant opening for it to offer lunch and for the hours to be expanded to 11 am to 10 pm Monday through Thursday and 11 am to 11 pm Friday and Saturday.