Shortly after the opening of the start-up operation Freshwater’s Farm to Chef Table, the business has received all "five stars" on its Facebook page and 1,189 likes! "Business is brisk," beams Chef Jeff Freshwater.
For decades residents have bemoaned the lack of food options in the area. "There is a need for a such a restaurant in Barnesville," the chef observes.
The business, the result of a collaboration between Barnesville natives Sally McKenzie, Greg
Williams and Freshwater, currently operates out of a temporary location at the old Barnesville Locker building at 338 S. Chestnut Street.
The restaurant provides seated or carry out service. Friday evenings have proven the busiest with eager customers forming a line out to the street. Currently, hours of operation are 11 – 6 Fridays through Sunday. Sunday’s offerings, Freshwater says, is a buffet.
Eventually, the restaurant will be open six days a week serving meals from breakfast through dinner.
Chef Jeff Freshwater’s menu of delicious and nutritious food from local farms changes weekly. Check the Facebook page Freshwaters Farm to Chef Table for this week’s offerings.
Memorial Day weekend, as example, the restaurant featured grilled ham steak, chicken breast, county mashed potatoes with leeks, corn on the cob, watermelon and sweet tea and infused water all for $10 a plate.
Photos of the restaurant’s dishes are posted on the Instagram account: the_chefs_on_wheels.
Instagram has helped expand interest beyond the area catching the attention of Food Channel’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives Guy Fieri and several others.
The food trailer, The Chef’s Table on Wheels, was a project several years in the making. Its debut at last year’s Barnesville Pumpkin Festival was met with rave reviews including one from his new business partner Sally McKenzie.
Following the festival, Freshwater participated in the Wheeling Chili cook-off snagging three trophies in the competition. His signature soups are Lobster Crab white chili and buffalo Elk red chili, he shared.
In addition to the food trailer and new restaurant, Freshwater provides catering for many businesses and events including the Dickinson Cattle Company.
Freshwater, his wife Cheryl and children have lived in Somerton the past seven years. The Follansbee native returned to the Ohio Valley to care for his mother when she became ill. For the previous 25 years, he worked in restaurants and the food business in North Carolina, his wife’s home state.
Following his mother’s passing, Jeff was ready to return to the Tar Heel State, but Cheryl wanted to remain here, the Barnesville School system a major factor for her. Barnesville is now home for the Freshwaters and their three children with the new restaurant cementing the deal!
The partners are hoping for a Spring 2019 opening of the new permanent restaurant. For information about the business, contact Sally McKenzie at 858-344-2956.