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Chefs turn historic Greenwood building into unique eatery

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On a historic corner of Old Town Greenwood, the past and future of dining are being fused together.

Diners at Revery will step into an 1860s building featuring exposed brick, original wood floors and reclaimed architectural elements.

At the same time, they can order a beef po boy, duck fat poutine or pickled beets. Instead of bread, they’ll be served handcrafted sour cream or barbecue-flavored popcorn as a warm-up and cotton candy for a post-dinner palette cleanser.

A certified mixologist bartender will pour the classics, such as an Old Fashioned or a Gimlet, and play around with liquid-nitrogen margaritas.

“Revery means to daydream in French, and Mark’s a daydreamer. We took a kind of childish or playful look at what we’ll serve,” chef Danny Salgado said.

Salgado has joined chef Mark Henrichs to transform the iconic Van Valer law building into a daring and exciting new eatery. The pair will center Revery around local meats, vegetables and fruits, offer combinations of flavors that can’t be found elsewhere in Indiana and pay homage to Greenwood history all at once.

“We’re trying to keep that modern speakeasy feel to it,” Henrichs said. “We didn’t want to take this building and turn it into something it’s not. This building is wood floors, exposed brick walls. That’s what this building was meant to do.”

Henrichs is the owner and chef, while Salgado is a partner and chef.

Sharing in their vision requires some imagination.

The former law office is in a state of reconstruction.

Dusty carpet still covers much of the floors, and holes reveal where partitions once subdivided the office.

The building at Madison and Main streets dates back to the 1860s. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places like other Old Town Greenwood structures around it.

At various times in its lifetime, the building housed Caron’s Furniture Store and later Walker’s Department Store.

But Henrichs and Salgado have the layout of their new restaurant firmly in their minds.

The black “Van Valer” lettering on the front of the building will remain, a salute to the history of the structure.

“A lot of people around this area associate this building with Van Valer law firm, so it’s our nod to them,” Henrichs said.

‘Nothing to hide’

Stained glass windows will be refurbished and maintained on the restaurant’s west wall. An old church pew will be recycled to serve as a waiting area.

Wine barrels, cut in half, will be mounted on the wall. A chalkboard will update people on drink specials and unique dishes being featured that day.

Industrial sconces and lighting will play off the vintage wood look.

The look will be one of vintage chic, with exposed brick and plaster walls, all open ceilings and exposed ductwork.

“I like to see old buildings the way they were, to bring the original quality back to it and let the character show in the modern day,” Henrichs said. “We wanted to take the whole place down and get it back to its original luster.”

The restaurant will cater to all tastes and types of diners. A horseshoe-shaped bar for adults will take up one side of the eatery, while spacious dining rooms will be set up for families and others to enjoy a meal. Space in the back will be set aside for private events, and a back patio will feature outdoor dining during nice weather.

The kitchen will be adjacent to the bar, separated by a half-wall and open to diners so they can see the food preparation.

“Everything will be made in-house on a daily basis,” Henrichs said. “People can watch us cook. We have nothing to hide.”

Henrichs was executive chef at Mesh for a year, before leaving to pursue opening his own restaurant. Working with the building’s owners, Paradigm Real Estate Investments, he pitched his idea for Revery.

‘Your own creativity’

He recruited Salgado, who replaced him. Henrichs and Salgado are both trained chefs and worked together as sous chefs at the Signature Room in Chicago.

“Being at this level, you have your own creativity and want to work with people on your level. For some reason, we get along so well when it comes to menu ideas. We play well off each other,” Salgado said.

They’ve created a menu that scrambles American cuisine.

The theme is small plates, with options such as pickled beets and pigs tails. Medium and larger dishes can satisfy more robust tastes.

People can try the beef tartare or poutine or split an order of sous vide chicken or coulette, made with cheese curd gratin, cauliflower and foie gras butter.

“This is a place where you can taste a lot of things and get an idea about new flavors and textures. Then still have room for a medium course or an entree,” Henrichs said. “These small plates will you let you pick and choose what to try.”

The menu will change with what’s in season, Salgado said.

The plan is to focus on local producers when possible. They’ll get whole lambs from Viking Lamb in Mooresville, whole pigs through Fischer Farms in Jasper and poultry from Gunthorp Farms in LaGrange County.

Craft beer and spirits will stock the bar.

They plan to take advantage of area produce, even buying from local gardeners, for the freshest fruits and vegetables.

“If the resources are here, you don’t have to go far to find what you want. If you can’t cook at your doorstep, you really can’t expect to be successful at this business,” Henrichs said.

‘The new vibe’

Revery will be 4,500 square feet and will seat 100 people, with an additional 18 seats possible if the outdoor patio is open.

While the restaurant will occupy the first floor of the building, the top floor will be segmented to house a tanning salon, photographer and offices for the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference.

Renovation of the restaurant is ongoing, and Henrichs and Salgado hope to be open by August.

With full access to the parking lot behind the restaurant, the pair hope to host outdoor block parties, concerts, hog roasts and other events to bring even more people to the area.

They hope to add a different facet to the Old Town community, joining such unique eateries as Vino Villa, La Trattoria and Yokohama.

“We’re doing something new, something cool, with that new vibe,” Salgado said. “We’re going to bring a lot of business to the downtown area.”

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