By Liz Witbeck
Farmers Hardware is a new brunch dining restaurant expected to open in June on Maple Avenue in Saratoga Springs.
For owner Julia Sanzen, the restaurant is about combining her love of cooking, health and nutrition.
Sanzen was born and raised in Saratoga Springs. She later moved out of the city, graduating from American University and receiving professional training at the National Gourmet Institute. She has worked alongside celebrity chefs and opened her own catering service.
Now Sanzen is ready to come back home.
“I delved into the Saratoga food scene. The word is that good quality breakfast is needed,” she said.
Farmers Hardware will be located at 35 Maple Ave.
The venue itself contains three floors. The first floor contains a communal dining area. There will also be patio seating outdoors. Before sitting down, guests can walk upstairs to the second floor, where they place their orders. The third floor is available for additional seating. There is also private event space available on the third floor.
Originally, Sanzen had thought about creating a pop-up venue for the summer, or operating a food truck. The idea spiraled until she came up with a plan for a full restaurant.
The size of Farmers Hardware is a beneficial feature. The restaurant can accommodate up to 90 people. Sanzen believes their ability to be a high-volume restaurant is an advantage.
“We give high-quality food at a good value,” said Sanzen.
“My background is in nutrition, so I stepped out of my comfort zone for this menu,” she said. It will have some health-conscious items, as well as other fare.
Some of the items on the menu include Eggs Shorty, which is her take on the famous Eggs Benedict. Braised short ribs and a poached egg are perched on top of an English muffin. Guests can choose an acai smoothie bowl, topped with granola, peanut butter and bananas.
There is a Southwestern turkey burger, topped with coleslaw, on a brioche bun. Also available is a Dragon Bowl, which is her version of the trendy Buddha Bowl: greens, sweet potatoes, and other nutritious ingredients, topped with a Thai-inspired dressing.
“There’s lots of options for everybody,” she said.
The menu will stay the same throughout the day.
Farmers Hardware is waiting on a liquor license, but plans to offer classic brunch drinks, including mimosas, bloody Marys and more. They will also offer coffee, espressos and other drinks.
Farmers Hardware gets its name from the history of the building. The building was established in 1925. When researching the building, she found out that a family with the surname of Farmer had owned it. The family owned some businesses in town, and used this building as their hardware facility.
The restaurant underwent renovations. The tables and chairs are reclaimed wood. Many tin and aluminum decorations were used, including the lighting fixtures.
Sanzen opted to purchase a shipping container kitchen for the space. The shipping container was crafted in Ontario, Canada, and has all of the aspects a fully sized commercial kitchen would have, she said.
She said of the casual atmosphere, “You don’t have to be there for two hours. You can come and stay for 20 minutes.” They will offer free fiber optic wifi for guests.
Sanzen is planning on renting the third floor for private parties. She has already received many inquiries for private parties.
“I’m really looking forward to coming back to my hometown. This is all about providing something refreshing and unique to the people here,” she said.
For more information, visit www.farmershardwaresaratoga.com.