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It all started with a global pandemic...
Christine and Christian Hayes opened the doors of their intimate dining room and bar, The Garrison, during the summer of 2019. The restaurant sat upon the rushing Royal River in Yarmouth, Maine within the same centuries-old mill that housed their catering operation, Dandelion Catering Co., of which they launched in 2008.
After 8 months of wobbly legs, The Garrison found it's footing and flow and was amidst solidifying it's approach to thoughtful food and drink when the global COVID-19 pandemic broke loose and decimated the hospitality industry, forcing the new restaurant's doors to close. What followed was a true exercise in ingenuity and grit as the couple pivoted their way through the failing ecosystem.
Chef Christian Hayes knew the world didn't need refined upscale food. He also knew he couldn't pack the aura of The Garrison and it's cultivated outdoor gardens into a take-out box - so he put the restaurant to rest for the unforeseeable future, and turned towards comfort in the form of an indulgent ode to fast food.
BURGERS + FRIES + TAILGATE MOVIE NIGHTS ...
Hayes knew he needed to make a clear distinction between the pivot and The Garrison, so he branded the take-out operation Thoroughfare, with the ever distant pipe-dream that if they made it out alive and The Garrison returned, then maybe perhaps another entity could arise from the rubble.
The expansive parking lot that sat unused was the perfect landscape for socially-distanced gatherings, so a 5500 lumen projector was bought off of Facebook Marketplace, and a PA system and 20 foot inflatable screen were borrowed, and Movie Night was launched. The community rallied, starved of any social activities and feeling of unity, and the weekly series became a safe gathering spot for people to set up camp, wrap up in blankets, and watch nostalgic movies while eating comfort food. The most important part was that it was a success emotionally, giving hope and motivation to keep moving forward.
A TOWN LANDMARK...
When it became cautiously apparent that The Garrison would be able to open it's dining room doors once again, Thoroughfare had established itself and needed a home to continue on.
The operation moved into a town landmark that had been on the corner of Main St. since 1935, the store known as Andy's Handy Store. Thoroughfare occupies the take-out window and patio, and a corner store, Dandy's Handy Store, is set to open in 2023.
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