Students on the Barry Goldwater High School Campus can now cook, serve and dine at Avenue 27 – the District’s first student-run restaurant. This fine-dining restaurant is open to the public several Friday nights during the school year.
The new restaurant was built by McCarthy Building Companies, who completely remodeled the previous kitchen and classroom space to create a welcoming storefront with windows, a canopy, and accessibility from the exterior for the public to dine at Avenue 27, said Andy Fillion, project manager for McCarthy Building Companies. Additional parking spaces were added, as well as new public restrooms.
The $1.5 million project was funded through CTED Funds as part of the district’s membership in West-MEC, said Jayme Fitzpatrick, Career and Technical Education Manager.
The newly designed and constructed kitchen features an open concept, where diners can look into the kitchen and watch students prepare their meal.
“What this means for us, is that we can make learning even more relevant for our kids and that our students have authentic experiences to apply what they are learning by running a business and serving actual customers,” Barry Goldwater High School Principal Anita Stulc said. “In the past, students learned skills and applied them in the lab or by catering events. Avenue 27 provides a full-service restaurant experience. This opens up a whole new world for our students.”
Upgrading the space, technology, and equipment for students has enhanced the overall educational opportunities of the Culinary Arts students who will do everything from create menus to prep, cook, and serve meals to customers.
“The attention to detail and the overall experience for customers and students who aspire to become professional chefs was the most inspiring part of this project, which was led by teacher and Chef Ryan Mattheis, who is clearly passionate about making the experience everything it can be for his students,” Fillion said. “Chef Mattheis, along with fellow chef and teacher Esther Skinner, were instrumental in the design and construction process with the teams. We utilized their input and feedback to truly make the layout what we thought would work best for the students and serving customers.”
The teachers believe that this new opportunity creates real-world experiences for students like none before.
“We are teaching to the standards of any of the top culinary schools, and we aim to educate students about every aspect of the culinary industry, but our focus is also to provide true real-world experience through work-based learning,” Chef Mattheis said.
AVENUE 27 serves dinner on Friday evenings. Dining is open to the public by reservation. To make a reservation email Avenue27@dvusd.org and to see dates of operation and current menu visit www.DVUSD.org/Avenue24
Guests can expect a fine dining experience unique to the Valley, Chef Mattheis said. Menus will change frequently and reflect the seasons.
“Our goal is to appeal to anyone and everyone in our community and offer a dining experience that is rare in our part of the Valley,” Chef Mattheis said.