Almost nine months after signing the lease, owners Debbi and Michael Bourgerie have opened the doors of Rosie’s Place – a breakfast and lunch restaurant and bakery.
The Bourgeries hired architect Mark Demerley to give the building the same character they felt it once had. Demerley said he consulted old photos “to restore the glory of the building.” His goal was to create a balance between the first and second floor.
The remodel harkens back to the building’s appearance in the 1960s when it was Elliott’s Drug Store. Landlord and former pharmacist Charlie Elliott ensured that the building structure and other systems were reinforced and updated.
“I couldn’t have done it without Charlie,” Michael Bourgerie said. “It was very much a team effort.”
Demolition was a major undertaking, but Bourgerie said it yielded some interesting stories.
On the north side of the building, different colored bricks marked the outline of a door. Bourgerie had the idea to use that as an alternate entrance. During demolition, he said “there was an actual door in the wall. It was bricked and plastered over.”
He hopes to use that original door somewhere else in the building along with a pair of large back doors that were discovered.
While tearing apart the wall, the crew found a section of wallpaper with two handwritten names – Maurice Kessler and his then-fiancee Lou Ann – and the date 1963. Kessler, who has known Elliott for decades and currently works for him, happened to be standing in the room at the time. The crew cut out the piece of wallboard and presented it to him as a souvenir.
In addition to sit-down meals, Rosie’s Place features a bakery selling scones, bars and cookies, along with cakes and pies sold whole or by the slice. Through Rosie’s e-commerce Website cookies and coffee are shipped all over the US and to soldier and expatriates around the world.