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Sep 21, 2012 8:45 PM by Keli Moore, KSBY News

The Hamlet becomes Centrally Grown

For decades a building made of redwood has sat along Highway 1 in Cambria, but over the last 10 years it deteriorated and the surrounding brush became overgrown. The land was recently sold, and is now being revitalized.

"When I drive by and look up, I see an old friend and I am excited for what can happen here," said Lucy Moreno, a waitress who worked at the Hamlet for half her life serving meals to people like Lance Morales.

"My wife and I would come here for lunch on the patio and then years later we came with our kids and they could run around in the garden," said Lance Morales, a longtime resident of Cambria.

"My husband I have lived here for 8 years, and the Hamlet use to be a date night spot," said Heather Stevenson, a librarian at a local school.

The Hamlet was a meeting spot and a home for many in this small community of 6,500 people, but that came end when the restaurant shut its doors.

"Whoa...it was like losing a very dear friend," said Moreno.

But with death comes life.

"We came here to re-invent a new experience," said Brian Wright, Executive Director of Centrally Grown.

The property is being restored from the roof to the ground to the garden.

"We have a team of Cal Poly students who are researching every aspect of this property," said Wright.

Centrally Grown is restoring, reusing and reapplying existing materials and plants throughout the building and grounds to incorporate the Hamlet's original character into the new design.

The owner of Centrally Grown offered Lucy Moreno her job back.

"It would be a new experience but with a lot of nostalgia," said Moreno.

Lucy is not sure if she will work at Centrally Grown, but she's keeping her options open.

Centrally Grown expects to open in late Spring of 2013. Food served at the restaurant and offered in the market will be healthy, natural, local and sustainable farm-to-table fare.



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