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Open Houses Planned for Le Jeune Chef Grand Reopening

The redecorated Le Jeune Chef restaurant has adopted a nature-inspired, earth tone d%C3%A9cor %E2%80%93 designed by Lenore G. Penfield, director of special events and The Gallery at Penn College %E2%80%93 to match its menu-planning efforts.Le Jeune Chef Restaurant will host grand reopening events on Feb. 1-2 to show off its redecorated dining room. The new design reflects the School of Hospitality’s more natural, organic approach to menu planning.

“It started with us planting our own garden,” said Layne E. Eggers, assistant dean of hospitality. “A lot of the vegetables we use are grown right on premises.”

For ingredients not grown onsite, including meat and dairy, the restaurant tries to purchase from local food producers, most of whom use sustainable farming practices.

“We wanted to carry that over to the dining room,” Eggers said.

In addition to bringing in elements that reflect nature natural woods, earth tones, stone, water, and botanical prints and textures one of the design goals was to provide a more calming, streamlined atmosphere, where the food is the central focus, explained Lenore G. Penfield, director of special events and the gallery, who planned the restaurant’s new design.

New curtains are among the plant-inspired textures and patterns throughout the dining room.“The design itself began with one of the few elements we retained: the ceiling lights,” Penfield said.

The lights’ arts-and-crafts style is carried into the rest of the room through the chairs, bar, planters and window cornices.

Aside from the chairs, all of the restaurant’s extensive woodwork was handcrafted from Pennsylvania walnut by William F. Geyer, assistant professor of building construction technology.

Geyer said the pieces which include framework to cover the service bar, cabinets, window cornices, a maitre d’ station and even a wall clock are inspired by the restaurant’s chairs and the design of Scottish Arts and Crafts period architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Each piece features two squares over a “golden rectangle” (a rectangle whose proportions are 1:1.6814, considered pleasing to the eye), as well as dentil molding with a cove molding and a half-round above.

“All the woodwork I did is very traditional,” said Geyer, who has been working on the project since creating his first drawings in March.

Planters and the bulk of the restaurant%E2%80%99s woodwork were handcrafted from Pennsylvania walnut by Bill Geyer, assistant professor of building construction technology.The college’s high-tech focus is reflected in artwork that includes metal shavings from the Machining Technologies Center.

In addition to work by Penfield and Geyer, the redecoration was a collaborative effort of outside contractors and the college’s General Services staff, who installed all of the woodwork.

After operating in the Professional Development Center since Dec. 13, the dining room reopened Jan. 24. Penn College employees are invited to view the newly redecorated restaurant and enjoy complimentary hors d’oeuvres between 3 and 5 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 1.

The public is invited to an open house between 5 and 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 2. That event will feature piano music, complimentary hors d’oeuvres from the restaurant’s tapas menus, and a cash bar. (EDITOR’S NOTE: The open house subsequently was rescheduled to Feb. 15.)

Photos by Larry D. Kauffman, digital publishing specialist (top) and Cindy Davis Meixel, photo editor

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