Every time I walk by the Del Ray Cafe location these days, the 1925 home at 205 E. Howell Avenue is looking more and more like the Virginia farmhouse we wrote about in The Making of a French Cafe—Part 1.
I recently toured the space again with owner Margaret Janowsky while an architect from Larson Koenig Architects, builders from Harry Braswell, Inc., and many construction people were busy at work. I’ve never seen more saws and drills in one place in my life.
After gutting the entire first and second floors, they’ve open up the second floor all the way to the rafters.
Margaret is pleased that they were able to stay true to their intention of making the design as green as possible. The bathrooms have low-flow sinks and there will be no inefficient hand dryers that are prone to breaking. Instead, she will use all-cotton linens and wash them onsite. They’ll have a compost bin out back so that the only trash that goes to the landfill will be tin foil, rubber gloves and saran wrap. All of the plants are drought-tolerant.
And what a surprise to me to find rain barrels at the foot of every downspout; I counted five in all.
Open your calendar, for very soon, Del Ray Cafe will serve breakfast, brunch (weekends), lunch and dinner seven days a week.
If you live nearby, you’ll be able to stop in and buy a rotisserie chicken and baguette to take home or carry off to a nearby park for a French country picnic.
And on any given weekday morning, what could be better than sitting on their wrap-around porch with a croissant and latte.
Any day now, that’s where I plan to be.
Del Ray Cafe will have its doors open this week for the First Thursday street festival (6 to 9 p.m., May 3).
For more ideas around your home, visit http://www.diydelray.com