Delaware North this week completed the 10-month ecofriendly redesign and reconstruction of the Grant Grove Restaurant. The $6.3 million rebuilt restaurant opened today, June 30, bringing elevated food and beverage services to the park. The new restaurant also features improved views of the picturesque setting, surrounded by majestic giant sequoia trees and overlooking Bradley Meadow.
Replacing the original restaurant, built in the 1970s with a seating capacity of only 74, the new 8,000-square-foot restaurant will accommodate about 225 diners at once in indoor and outdoor seating areas. It features a revamped indoor area with seating for 104, plus a new outdoor deck overlooking Bradley Meadow that will have seating for 46 once it opens in early July and a large courtyard for grab-n-go dining with picnic tables seating 75.
The new structure, including the striking indoor space with high ceilings and large exposed beams, was built to meet LEED Gold standards, using sustainable materials and construction techniques. The room features natural wood tables and chairs set with color schemes that complement the rock work. Thoughtful design details include salt and pepper shakers that look like the new stonework, along with decorative pieces and historic photographs that tell the story of Kings Canyon National Park.
Other new features include a fireplace, large windows and an open concept floor plan, which will provide a better cooking facility for the chefs as well as a more enjoyable and convenient dining area for guests.
“We are very pleased to offer visitors a quality dining experience in a beautiful national park setting,” said Woody Smeck, superintendent of Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks. “Delaware North has worked hard to deliver a rustic architectural design that harmonizes with the mountain surroundings and is planned to achieve a LEED Gold rating for environmental protection.”
Since Delaware North took over operations as concessioner at Kings Canyon National Park in 2013, Grant Grove Restaurant and its environmental standards have evolved as part of the company’s proprietary environmental stewardship platform, GreenPath®, and its commitment to being a good partner to the National Park Service. Delaware North is one of the largest privately held hospitality and food service companies in the world and operates at a number of national parks.
“We are thrilled to present an updated, more convenient dining option for visitors to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks,” said Lance Wellwood, Delaware North’s regional general manager for Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. “Our team worked closely with the National Park Service to address potential impacts during construction. Great care and consideration was given to the surrounding natural environment to enhance the overall visitor experience and, of course, preserve the beautiful setting.”
The restaurant’s new menu, designed by Executive Chef Brandon Bollenbacher, is centered on locally sourced, sustainable and organic ingredients. Highlights include California-raised grass fed beef, San Joaquin Valley-raised organic poultry and eggs, and Monterey Bay Aquarium-approved seafood. Local farms and vendors, including Mountain Produce (Fresno, Calif.) and Sierra Seafood (Oakhurst, Calif.), will supply additional meat, poultry, seafood, produce, dairy and grains.
To-go items such as pizza, sandwiches, coffee and ice cream are also available at a walk-up window for those in a rush or wanting to maximize their outdoor time.
Completion of the new Grant Grove Restaurant follows Delaware North’s renovation since 2014 of the Grant Grove Cabins, John Muir Lodge and Cedar Grove Lodge.
Hours of Operation: 7 am – 10 am (Breakfast) 11:30 am – 3:30 pm (Lunch) 4:30 pm – 10 pm (Dinner)