Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Historic Ketchum building reborn

Cornerstone Bar and Grill to bring life back to 1884 structure

Express Staff Writer

Married couple Erik and Meg Vorm pose with their children, 6-year-old Elena, bottom, and 5-year-old Coco, top, inside the Cornerstone Bar and Grill on Main Street in Ketchum, set to open at the end of this week. Photo by David N. Seelig

After opening the rustic wooden front door, you enter a glass-box breezeway—a modern take on a usually claustrophobic space, and within one of Ketchum's oldest buildings.

The 1880s-era brick building on Main Street was built as the Lewis Lemon General Store. It housed Iconoclast Books until late 2007, then it lay vacant, the brick back wall caving in. The new owners, Erik and Meg Vorm, have restored the wall to its former strength and transformed the interior while respecting the historic Ketchum character.

The 30-foot-high ceiling has been painted a midnight blue, but the walls remain exposed brick. The floors are covered in wide planks of dark wood, but the bar is made of a composite plastic appearing frosty white and somewhat transparent. When the bar is open, interior LED lights turn the icy-looking long block into just about any color.

The Vorms' vision is almost complete for the Cornerstone Bar and Grill, next to the Sawtooth Club.

Crews are still hard at work putting the finishing touches on the bar and grill, but the big pieces are in place, including the tables, booths and chairs for 121 seats of dining. Erik Vorm said the plan is to have a few soft openings starting Friday, May 21, but the public won't see the inside of Cornerstone until later, with the latest being Memorial Day.

"It's nice to open in slack because the locals get to see it first," he said.

The Vorms have lived in the valley since the 1980s, working as ski instructors, among other things. Erik Vorm has experience in catering, but the two said this is a "huge leap" for them, in many ways.

"We've got a lot of food experience," said Meg Vorm, "but this is our first barbecue."

Meg Vorm said the food will be like the interior design, a modern take on Ketchum, offering game meats such as buffalo, ostrich and emu.

"It's like the YMCA," she said. "We want it to be all things to all people."

The Vorms plan to accomplish that with such offers as a 4-6:30 p.m. happy hour Monday through Friday, and Monday being a night for service-industry workers.

"That's about everybody living in town," she said.

Trevon Milliard:

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