Dedicating the new ecofriendly Grant Grove Restaurant Thursday at Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks are (left to right) Woody Smeck, superintendent of the two parks for the National Park Service; Scott Socha (president), Mike Phillips (chief operating officer) and Lance Wellwood (regional general manager) of Delaware North’s parks and resorts business; and Laura Joss, pacific West regional director for the National Park Service.

The National Park Service and concessioner Delaware North on Thursday dedicated the new Grant Grove Restaurant in Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks, an eatery built with sustainable materials and construction techniques to achieve Leadership in Engineering and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold standards.

Delaware North completed a 10-month, $6.3 million eco-friendly redesign and reconstruction of the restaurant, which opened June 30. The new 8,000-square-foot restaurant accommodates about 225 diners at once in indoor and outdoor seating areas that include an outdoor deck and courtyard. It replaces the original restaurant, which was built in the 1970’s with a seating capacity of only 74.

The new structure includes a striking indoor space with high ceilings and large exposed beams, a fireplace, natural wood tables and chairs with color schemes that complement the rock work, and large windows with improved views of the majestic giant sequoia trees overlooking Bradley Meadow. An open concept floor plan provides a better cooking facility, as well as a more enjoyable and convenient dining area for guests.

The official ribbon cutting was carried out by Laura Joss, Pacific West regional director for the National Park Service. Afterward, Woody Smeck, superintendent of Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks, spoke of the investment concessionaires have made to visitor services to parks nationwide.

“This restaurant demonstrates the commitment of national park concessionaires, like Delaware North, to meeting the needs of the visiting public,” Smeck said. “Today we recognize Delaware North for their central role in completing this new restaurant – a building that will support the experiences and adventures of the visiting public for years to come.”


Click HERE for a video showing photos of the 10-month construction of Grant Grove Restaurant.


A Green Overhaul

Delaware North anticipates receiving notification on the LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council later this year.

Scott Socha, president of Delaware North’s parks and resorts business, enjoys the moment as Delaware North cuts the ribbon to signify the completion of the 10-month construction of Grant Grove Restaurant.

“Delaware North is incredibly proud to have worked with the National Park Service to create an updated, more convenient and more sustainable dining option for visitors to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks,” said Scott Socha, president of Delaware North’s parks and resorts business. “Our team used great care in safeguarding the surrounding natural environment and preserving the beautiful setting while enhancing the overall visitor experience.”

Among the “green” highlights:
• More than 75 percent of the waste generated during construction was diverted from being landfilled.
• Water consumption has been reduced by 40 percent with low-flow plumbing fixtures and landscaping that does not need irrigation.
• The restaurant building is 30 percent more energy efficient than a conventional building, thanks to LED lighting and windows designed to bring the natural light inside.
• Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems were designed to exceed the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) standards for ventilation and thermal comfort.

Socha said Delaware North has also pledged to make the restaurant a zero-waste facility by 2020.


Sustainable Menu Delights

At the ceremony, Executive Chef Brandon Bollenbacher and his team offered a sampling of the restaurant’s new menu, which is centered on locally sourced, sustainable and organic ingredients. In addition, it was announced that the restaurant has been certified as a Green Restaurant® by the Green Restaurant Association.

Executive Chef Brandon Bollenbacher is all smiles as he and his team introduce a new menu at Grant Grove Restaurant.

Menu 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 in 2014 of the Grant Grove Cabins, John Muir Lodge and Cedar Grove Lodge at Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks.



Published September 29, 2017