"So we're gonna have a whole bunch of beer" - Greg Daniels
"So we're gonna have a whole bunch of beer" - Greg Daniels

First Look: Provisions Market In Old Towne Orange

With 30 beers on tap and another 300 by the bottle, Wil Dee has his work cut out for him. Haven Gastropub's beverage director dropped in as Greg Daniels conducted our tour of the soon-to-be open Provisions Market (formerly The Bruery Provisions). We discussed their menu, changes to the space and their vision as they prepared for last night's viewing.

Sorted by taste profile, draft beer options will be displayed where a bottle cap mural (that they had a heck of a time tearing down) once was. In addition, 20 wines by the glass will be part of their constant beverage rotation. A greater variety of pints and flights meant a selection of food options they're known for. However, the infrastructure to install a kitchen hood in a historic building was costly, causing them to rethink cooking methods and get creative-- something they not only love, but prefer to do.

Emulating "the culinary style of Haven, but definitely more deli", their equipment arsenal includes an induction burner, microwave and panini press. Expect grilling out on the back patio as temperatures increase. Haven sous chef Courtney Chambers will maintain the back of the house. Her menu features modest, European-style sandwich options under $10, with specials for more adventurous tastes. A vegetarian, a Pig Face porchetta, and cured salmon with espelette cream cheese, cucumbers and radishes are just a few Daniels hinted at. Diners are encouraged to order multiple tastes from a small plates selection of tartares, crudos and composed salads.

We're excited about the cheese case, featuring 60(!) ways to make us smile and pair with 15 charcuterie tastes. Planning a picnic? Pre-packaged menu items, soups, olives and bottled beverages can fill your basket faster than you can find parking at Trader Joe's. Lamb shanks and steaks are at your disposal; pre-cooked, courtesy of their sous vide station.

Chairs reupholstered with coffee bags, thanks to Wil Dee's sis
Chairs reupholstered with coffee bags, thanks to Wil Dee's sis

Originally, Haven intended to expand into the salon space next door and include a market. When Frog's Breath (the space before Bruery Provisions) closed down, they showed up at the equipment auction. Patrick Rue was also there, with plans of his own. When he announced Old Town Orange would house Provisions, Haven put the idea on the back burner. Everything happens for a reason, so once news of closure reappeared, it was a matter of time before their project came to fruition.

Until they can adjust their license, alcohol is still restricted to the back area, marked by the crafty seating updated by Jo-ann Dee Katsiametis of Fleur De Le Designs (and Wil Dee's sister). However, with the addition of banquette seating and tables of varying heights, they can accommodate guests dropping in for deli and non-alcoholic purposes. This includes guests of Portola Coffee Lab, setting up shop next to the main entrance. Lighting crafted out of repurposed wine bottles cast a warm glow. Their standout feature is a custom, wood accent wall, done in a Chevron pattern by a local craftsman.

Greg Daniels in front of their reclaimed wood wall, some of which is from Sinatra's LA home.
Greg Daniels in front of their reclaimed wood wall, some of which is from Sinatra's LA home.
Anne Marie Panoringan

Despite a weary appearance, Greg Daniels spoke with enthusiasm about his wicked apron, stitched by former employee Amy Coleman (her Little Stinker clothing line sold locally at the farmers market). Shopkeepers will be outfitted in utilitarian Japanese denim, sporting retro hardware reminding us of overalls. It's another example of how they intend to support the community. Stocking shelves with things they consider cool, count on local brands and some Haven-branded merch in Mason jars. Can we say jamming and pickling?

Provisions Market's ideal is to open at the end of the month. There's still training to conduct. Menu education, beer sampling and instilling a sense of neighborhood in their space is important. Owning a concept which embraces the culture that is Old Towne Orange means growing with the needs and wants of its clientele. Their community bulletin board is bare, but not for long.

Provisions Market will be located at 143 N Glassell, Orange, (714-997-2337); www.havencollective.com.

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