There’s a new breed of independent retail developing. Complexes, campuses, and marketplaces offering convenience for kindred spirits. An all-in-one indie mall of sorts.
Shed, in Healdsburg, CA is one of two concepts launched with this type of modern market flair in Sonoma County. Visiting the two-story café-meets-grocery, retail, deli, bar, workshop, larder, grange is like stepping into the pages of Kinfolk magazine. Including verbs such as Cook, Farm, Eat, and Make to identify individual sections.
Signage aside, the spaces are superbly merchandised with all the vital necessities for any culinary-centric gathering. From farming essentials to packaged foods, the enthusiasm for quality and local products resonates.
The fermentation bar – with shrub beverages, local wines, and kombuchas – is the most talked about differentiator, but certainly not the whole story. The ingredient-driven menu, open kitchen, and wood oven are cornerstones of seasonal dining. The communal seating, both in the café and upstairs grange, sets the appropriate stage for Sunday suppers and social events.
Design and community are give even-weight throughout each department in the expansive space. By our best estimate, the build-out could have been in excess of ten million dollars.
We're pretty tired of the words artisanship and reimagined, but Shed has both in spades. We hope that ventures like this inspire more traditional spaces to evolve by serving a lifestyle instead of a menu or assortment.
Update 5.4.14: The restaurant, located within the Shed, received the 2014 James Beard Foundation Outstanding Restaurant Design Award in the “76 Seats and Over” category. Congratulations to Jensen Architects and designers Scott Davis, Mark Jensen, Lincoln Lighthill, Dean Orr, and Andy Pluess on a job well done.