Ordinary in New Haven reopening its doors for phase 3 with remodeled interior

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Phase Three of the state’s reopening plan starts Thursday. For a lot of restaurants, they will now be able to sit up to 75% capacity. 

Ordinary in New Haven will be opening its doors for the first time since March. Customers will be back in the dining area after eight months away. 

RELATED: Rep. Jahana Hayes warns CT residents to not let guard down in Phase 3 after recovering from Covid-19

Owner Tim Cabral told News 8 he could have opened the doors back in Phase Two, but took the additional time to remodel the inside, “With the world shutting down the way it did, we figured we would look to renovate our space not only for this time but a forward level thinking for our future.” 

They took the state-mandated safety guidelines, and with the help of Restoration Woodworks, made them look a bit nicer.

RELATED: University of New Haven quarantines entire residence hall after small COVID-19 spike

“We figured if we’re going to do it, let’s do it right, were going to do it the way we think is right,” Cabral tells us. 

The large horseshoe-shaped booths are divided by detailed oak boards stained to match the woodwork throughout the restaurant. 

RELATED: CT libraries receiving $2.6 million in CARE Act funds as capacity increases for phase 3

The restaurant is nearing its eighth year in the Elm City, “We’re trying to make an unordinary situation ordinary.”

Now, customers will be able to make reservations or walk-in. However, a new change is the way people will enter the restaurant. Instead of the main entrance off Chapel Street, the customers will now come in through the Taft Apartments on College and enter through the back door of Ordinary. 

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West 8 debuts first phase of Houston Botanic Garden

West 8, the award-winning Dutch landscape architecture and urban design firm with offices in Rotterdam and New York City, has unveiled the highly anticipated first phase of the Houston Botanic Garden, a years-in-the-making, first-of-its-kind horticultural hub for the Bayou City that aims to attract tourists, green thumbs, and the scientific community.

When fully complete, per West 8’s master plan, the so-called “living museum for plants” will encompass 132 acres of a bayou-bound island and adjacent shoreline along Sims Channel, with roughly half of the compound being on the island. Much of the Houston Botanic Garden is located on the former grounds of the old and underused 1920s-era Glenbrook Golf Course.

Following a prolonged period of NIMBY outrage, as some southeast Houston residents rallied against the project largely due to concerns over traffic and the loss of Glenbrook, which had been used by residents as an informal neighborhood green space, plans for the Houston Botanical Garden were formally revealed by West 8 in 2018 with construction kicking off early the next year. To be clear, while this marks the first time that Houston has had a proper botanic garden within city limits, there is a botanic garden at the Mercer Arboretum in unincorporated Harris County.

Described in a press statement as “an oasis of learning, discovery, and horticultural beauty” that differentiates itself from a typical arboretum by featuring an evolving, curated collection of plants, the Houston Botanic Garden opens to the public at a strange and difficult time for marquee cultural institutions, plant-focused or otherwise. However, the expansive and open-air nature of the walking trail-laced campus, which features a multitude of outdoor galleries that showcase a sizable collection of tropical, subtropical, and arid plants, does inherently lend itself well to safe and socially-distant visits.

a lush botanic garden in houston
Plans for a botanic garden in the museum- and cultural institution-rich Texan city date back more than 30 years. (Courtesy West 8/Barrett Doherty)

“Adding a world-class botanic garden to enhance the breadth and depth of Houston’s cultural offerings has been a long time in the making,” said Claudia Gee Vassar, president and general counsel of the Houston Botanic Garden, in a statement. “We believe the benefits of an extensive outdoor museum like the Houston Botanic Garden will be especially desirable at a time when so many are looking to engage with, and be inspired by nature.”

Outside of the ongoing pandemic, Tropical Storm Beta has thrown a slight wrench into the garden’s opening week plans. (It officially opened September 18.)

Key architectural elements revealed in Phase One include a series of 21 innovative, thin-shell concrete alcoves that line the main collection gardens and provide a natural place for visitors to duck out of the hot Houston sun and catch some shade (fabricated by Fine Concrete); a pair of monumental steel gates with intricate, botanic-inspired designs that are found at both the main pedestrian and vehicular entrances (fabricated by Renfrow + Co. Metalsmiths); a Welcome Fountain constructed from coral stone that was sourced by West 8 as a

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