Jim Nawn will open Agricola in the former Lahiere’s location on Witherspoon Street Princeton, NJ (August 2012) – Agricola, a vibrant new community eatery from restaurateur Jim Nawn, is excited to offer delicious seasonal American fare enhanced by ingredients handpicked from nearby farms. Opening this fall, the restaurant will reside in the building formerly home to Lahiere’s, a cherished neighborhood institution whose warmth and hospitality left a deep impression on Mr. Nawn. In the spirit of the previous tenant, Mr. Nawn has worked to create a restaurant where first-time guests feel like beloved regulars. Agricola has been a passion project for Mr. Nawn ever since the opening of his own Great Road Farm, which, in collaboration with other local providers, will provide the restaurant with a steady supply of seasonal ingredients. In his own words, “Agricola is the culmination of my journey to create a warm and welcoming gathering place that celebrates fresh, seasonal foods and the kind of extraordinary service that can accommodate the needs of the Princeton
With 200 seats, the renovated space at 11 Witherspoon Street will provide daily open dining, private events for up to sixty people, and a lively bar capable of entertaining guests from morning brunch through last call. Mr. Nawn engaged the branding firm Mucca Design to create the restaurant’s identity and curate every aspect of its look and feel, and sought the expertise of the architecture and interiors firm Seed Design to create the warm and inviting spaces within.
“This project has been a labor of love. Old buildings require that, plus a whole lot of patience,”he added with a smile. “The community has witnessed the extent of the renovation firsthand, and construction will begin later this month. When Agricola opens, guests will be amazed at how distinct each room’s personality will be — from friendly and intimate to open and festive.” Mr. Nawn, a restaurateur with many years of industry experience, has gone to great lengths to ensure Agricola’s successful debut. In the year leading up to the opening, Mr. Nawn completed an 8-month program at the Institute of Culinary Education and a 6-week residency in the kitchen of Veritas, a Michelin-starred restaurant in New York City known for its famous wine list and contemporary American menu. “I spent my time absorbing as much as I could while chopping vegetables and doing whatever menial task the chef told me to do. It was incredibly humbling — that was part of the challenge, after all — but I was also able to study how world-class restaurants operate on the ground floor. The many firsthand observations I was able to make have combined to shape my vision for Agricola.” Mr. Nawn’s journey culminated with the hiring of Josh Thomsen, a New Jersey native, as Agricola’s Executive Chef. Named a “Rising Star Chef” by StarChefs, Chef Thomsen has honed his skills at some of America’s most prominent culinary destinations, such as the French Laundry in Napa Valley, where he had the privilege of working with Thomas Keller, and Michael Mina’s NobHill at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas. Chef Thomsen went on to serve as the chef de cuisine at Tao restaurant, which quickly became the highest grossing restaurant in the United States, and Pinot Bistro and Patina in southern California under Joachim Splichal. When Agricola opens in the fall, Chef Thomsen will lend his talents to the eatery’s dinner menu from Monday through Sunday. Shortly thereafter, the restaurant will add lunch to the menu, served on weekdays, as well as brunch on Saturdays and Sundays. Private events and catering are also on the horizon as Agricola establishes itself as Princeton’s community eatery.
Agricola – 11 Witherspoon Street, Princeton NJ 08542
(In Latin, “Agricola” (Ag-RI-ko-la) means “farmer”)
Press Contact: Rich Eldert / Gail Schoenberg Public Relations
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