We imagined that we had discovered a 19th century Tuscan Revival building typical to the Greensboro area. We studied such buildings as the power plant at UNCG, Blandwood, the little pump house on Benjamin Parkway at Lake Daniel, and the old store on Lake Brandt Road at Highway 150. From those we designed our “old” building, and turned it into the main dining room. Sleek “new” spaces to house our copper dining room and bar were planned as additions to the old building and, in the case of the bar, to provide our hotel and restaurant a connecting entrance. One way in which the Green Valley Grill is different is its relationship and proximity to the O. Henry. Rather than actually being in the hotel, it is adjacent and connected to it. By making the GVG completely distinct from the hotel, it is able to operate as a freestanding restaurant with its own entrance and parking. This relationship between hotel and restaurant is so unusual that the design concept is patented.
The Main Dining Room
This room has a 30-foot high ceiling! We designed the “old” portion of the restaurant using only Palladio’s Treatise as reference for the proportions, and promising ourselves to use traditional building methods and indigenous materials. The arcade of the front and sides of the building focuses attention toward the huge arched entrance to the kitchen. The arch is topped by a 22-foot wide, semi-circular, still-life mural that was inspired by 17th century Dutch still life artist, Jan Davidsz de Heem, and painted by accomplished local artist, Frank P. Holton, III (Chip). To give a reference as to the size of the painting, the peaches in the lower center are the size of basketballs. The carpet in the main dining room was inspired by 6th century mosaic floors. We talked our friends at Burlington Industries into developing this pattern for us, and it met with such approval that Lees Carpet has developed a line of “soft mosaic” carpets.
The Bar and Courtyard
The bar is wonderful in its simplicity: one long wall of windows; the opposing wall that is a brick arcade; the curved granite bar with a copper base; and the variety of seating options, including rounded booths, tables for two, and bar stools with wrought iron bases. The effect is sleek and stylish. Guests seated in the bar are treated to a view of our courtyard, with its umbrellas and chanticleer pear trees. The courtyard has a delightful garden feeling, and is available (weather-permitting) for dining and cocktails.