2011-12-07 / Business

Frontier expanding its horizons

Popular Brunswick business getting new kitchen and more


MICHAEL “GIL” GILROY, owner of the Frontier Cafe in Fort Andross in Brunswick, stands amid renovations under way at the eatery, gallery and cinema. The cafe, which is scheduled to reopen this week, will be sporting an enlarged, full kitchen, full bar with full table service. The new bar features reclaimed diamond plating and steel beams salvaged from Fort Andross — a former mill. 
TROY R. BENNETT / THE TIMES RECORD MICHAEL “GIL” GILROY, owner of the Frontier Cafe in Fort Andross in Brunswick, stands amid renovations under way at the eatery, gallery and cinema. The cafe, which is scheduled to reopen this week, will be sporting an enlarged, full kitchen, full bar with full table service. The new bar features reclaimed diamond plating and steel beams salvaged from Fort Andross — a former mill. TROY R. BENNETT / THE TIMES RECORD BRUNSWICK — Frontier in Fort Andross has taken the first step in its next chapter as work nears completion to expand the kitchen. The chef and staff at Frontier have also completed the menu planning, which will be the cornerstone of the new restaurant.

In order to accommodate the new kitchen, Frontier is expanding into the adjacent gallery space. The new kitchen will enable Frontier to offer an entirely new menu beyond the Marketplates, soups, salads and sandwiches the restaurant is currently known for.


WORKMEN ARE BUSY expanding the kitchen at the Frontier Cafe in Brunswick. WORKMEN ARE BUSY expanding the kitchen at the Frontier Cafe in Brunswick. “A Panini press, a hot plate and an oven — it’s essentially a prep kitchen,” Michael Gilroy, Frontier’s owner, said in a news release. “That’s what we’ve been using for the past five years. I’m thrilled to see what our staff can do with a full kitchen.”

In this new version, the theme and style of food will remain the same, but it will feature heartier and more diverse meals.

Jason Putnam, Frontier’s head chef, describes the menu as a “celebration” — a celebration of five successful years. New items on the menu include curried mussels, a warm peanut noodle bowl and a Frontier burger, and Frontier will continue to source many of the products locally and produce many items from scratch daily.

Many of the staple menu items will remain, and the menu will offer more vegan, vegetarian and gluten- free options to meet customer requests. Additionally, Frontier has created a new brunch menu for Sundays.


THE FRONTIER CAFE in Brunswick will reopen with full service, a full bar and a full kitchen. Jason Putnam, Frontier’s head chef, describes the new menu as a “celebration” — a celebration of five successful years. THE FRONTIER CAFE in Brunswick will reopen with full service, a full bar and a full kitchen. Jason Putnam, Frontier’s head chef, describes the new menu as a “celebration” — a celebration of five successful years. “The preparation, techniques and ingredients are the key,” said Putnam. “We’re not a traditional kitchen — not much in the way of culinary school backgrounds — but we’re committed to the food. We have tremendous respect for the product.”

Beyond just a restaurant, Frontier is a gathering place, and the renovated space will still be welcoming and open. The lounge area, known as the Cross- roads, will remain, and, along with some new bar top tables, will continue to make Frontier an excellent location for a business meeting or social gathering.

The existing counter will be transformed into a bar using reclaimed materials, including discarded I-beams from deep within Fort Andross. The new bar will also become a major gathering point, featuring Frontier’s worldly selection of beer and wine along with new, Frontierbranded infused cocktails.

For Frontier’s regular visitors, the biggest change will be the full service provided in the restaurant. No longer will guests need to navigate the space on their own.

“ The experience doesn’t end at a counter window. We’ll now be able to truly take care of our guests,” said Putnam.

The theater will also remain, with a planned expansion to the arts and cultural programs. But the service surrounding programs will change. Frontier will now be taking reservations for dinner and an event, and welcomes guests to enjoy both together without the need to rush to finish their meal in order to ensure they have theater seats. A dinner reservation will ensure a seat in the theater.

Dinners will no longer be served in the theater during the show — except for special events — but a new Frontierstyle concession stand will be opened that will offer select menu items and beverages for theatergoers.

“We’re not a restaurant,” Putnam said. “We’re about experiences. Sure, we offer a terrific menu, but you can come in to see a film and have an appetizer, grab a cup of coffee during a business meeting, or enjoy a glass of wine and dessert.”

Frontier’s growth will also allow for expanded catering opportunities. Presently, Frontier offers both on- and off- site catering, and the expansion will allow more opportunities for the catering on- site. With the expanded kitchen in place, Frontier will be able to offer more diverse options for catering along with fewer disruptions to regular business hours.

The new Frontier reopens this week, according to its website. More information about the opening schedule and the grand opening will be available later this fall.

For more information about any of the food, film or art offerings at Frontier, visit www.ExploreFrontier.com or call 725-5222.

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