By Jan Santopietro
Special to The PREVIEW
Do you remember the Greenhouse Restaurant just off of Piedra Road? According to my sources, it opened in the late 1980s as a family restaurant. It was then sold in the 1990s to a couple who turned it into a fine-dining establishment that served fabulous artichoke dip, prime rib, fried spinach, fresh bread and cheesecake. Many locals remember the fireplace and the beautiful bar. Many friendships and business relationships were forged there as many longtime locals would tell you.
Recently, a generous community partner purchased the property and signed a lease with the Archuleta County Education Center (ACEC) to create Pagosa Springs’ newest early childhood center and provide it rent-free for at least 10 years.
That’s just the start of a huge project. Of course, the building needs to be renovated appropriately to comply with local building codes, early childhood center rules and regulations, as well as fire and health department inspections. The cost of renovation is expected to be close to $500,000. The town and county have provided $130,000 in funding so far this year, resulting in matching funds donated by anonymous donors. Grants are expected to be approved for the capital improvement project by the end of 2018.
In preparation for the renovation project, the ACEC wants to ensure the remaining restaurant furnishings, equipment and miscellaneous items find a new home.
There are two ways to view and purchase the items on a first-come, first-served basis:
1. Go to www.theacec.com. Contact Jan Santopietro via email at email@example.com to schedule an appointment to view/purchase items.
2. Come to the “inside garage sale” on Saturday, Nov. 3, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the former Greenhouse Restaurant, 74 Backswing Court (a half mile north of U.S. 160 on Piedra Road, turn right before Piedra Automotive).
Donations for the early childhood project will gladly be accepted at that time. Donors who contribute $100 or more will receive an original Greenhouse Restaurant mug or rock from the now-dismantled fireplace while supplies last. Don’t forget to get a copy of the Colorado Child Care Contribution Tax Credit form, which will allow you to claim up to 50 percent of your donation on your Colorado tax form.
The ACEC looks forward to reminiscing about the Greenhouse Restaurant and sharing stories with everyone at the “inside garage sale.”
By Jan Santopietro