Get ready, Granville, the Granville Family Diner is preparing to open sooner rather than later.
Candy and Matt Baker are the new tenants in the building formerly known as What’s Up Dawgs, at 70 Quaker Street.
The couple intends to create a country-themed, family-oriented and home-cooked-food restaurant that will be flexible to people of all ages. They’re aiming for the third week of June to officially open, prior to a trial run with staff.
“Granville needs it,” Candy Baker said.
“We’re not necessarily here for ourselves, we’re here for the community… we just want to make sure they’re happy when they walk out the door,” Matt Baker said.
The Bakers aren’t worried about conflicts or confusion with having two diners open near each other in the village, as the Granville Family Diner will be neighbors with the Pine Grove Diner.
Aiming to be open Sunday through Thursday from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., both Candy and Matt said people have already visited to see if they’re open.
“I bet we’ve had 300 people come through the door (thinking we’re open),” Candy Baker said.
Candy will be a focal point of the kitchen whipping up her niece’s (Jamie Cenate-Ynesta’s) favorite dish, macaroni and cheese, as well as chicken and biscuits, homemade pies and desserts and hot turkey sandwich dinners.
The Bakers said you’ll be able to order anything on the menu at any time they’re open, like blueberry pancakes at 8 p.m.
Candy mentioned she worked on Main Street in the kitchen for Tom Scott when Scottie’s was still open and started working when she was 18 at AJ’s for Tom Scott’s father, Angelo. She also cooked at The Pawlet Station in Pawlet, Vermont.
She ultimately wanted to purchase Scottie’s when they went out of business in December of 2017, but Bill Morse of Morse’s Diner and Pizzeria, which has now closed, signed the contract before negotiations could occur.
“I see on social media that Vinnie and Julie (Covino) are going out and I thought, ‘that’s my opportunity’,” Candy Baker said.
“We’ve been married for 27 years, and she’s managed our family just fine!” Matt Baker said with a laugh.
There are a few more hurdles to jump over before the grand opening.
County inspections and finishing touches on interior work in the dining room are the biggest concerns before the Baker’s get the green light.
Candy and Matt are eyeing a kid’s menu, some outdoor seating and heavy community involvement with their project. Candy’s 77-year-old mother can even be seen scrubbing the tables and walls getting everything in tip-top shape.
“It’s about seeing people making friends, making new relationships, not just for us but for anybody that comes in and visits,” Matt Baker said.
Candy said mostly family will be working at the diner, but she will be looking for extra hands to fill the two shifts. More than 20 people have already declared interest in employment.
Laurie Black, Candy Baker’s sister, made a Facebook post on May 25 as she was excited to announce the news and receive positive reviews from over 200 users.
“This new Granville Family Diner of my sister’s will be giving people options of different choices of food and homemade meals and will be open more hours and will (allow people to) be able to sit down inside or take out dinners as well,” Black said.
“I can’t say enough good (things) about the Pine Grove Diner, but many times the place is so busy, people have to wait to get a table, especially since great places like Scotties, AJ’s and Bernardo’s Restaurant have closed. I feel there are enough people in Granville and our surrounding area to support more than one sit-down diner, as for many years there were more than two diners and several different families were successful in supporting their families.”
The Bakers hope to integrate within the community like many Granville business owners do by bringing back “wing nights” that were a staple at What’s Up Dawgs, “Senior Breakfasts” for high school seniors at Granville that were famous at Scottie’s and introduce new specials and discounts for groups like those affected by tragedies, law enforcement and veterans.
“I just want to see her succeed, so I’ll do whatever I can to help,” Matt Baker said, as he works in Rutland during the daytime for Cape Air.
“We want everyone to have good food and good service… We want repeat customers, so let us know if there’s something you don’t like,” he said.
The biggest change to note was a humorous topic.
“The funny thing is, we’re going from Coke to Pepsi,” Matt Baker said. “So much for the Coca-Cola diner!”