With the folks at Animal Planet currently airing the first full season of Restoration Wild, we thought this was the perfect time to take a look back at the creation of our Silo Bar. We were thrilled when Chanteclaire Farm was chosen for the pilot episode of the new series, which first aired as a market test in December 2014. The work on the silo bar has been a mega hit with our couples and their guests, and based on the fact that Animal Planet picked up more episodes of the show after airing our pilot, it looks like it was a hit with television audiences as well.
The process of being selected for the pilot episode was unbelievably quick. Garrett County's Chamber of Commerce saw a casting call the network had released in August 2014 looking for places to film their new series. They immediately thought of Chanteclaire, and submitted Leigh's info to the show. Less than 15 minutes later, the show called Leigh to learn more about the farm. Within two weeks the farm had been approved by the network, and by September the crew arrived to begin work.
Leigh had always envisioned the space as a bar. "So many parts of the farm are romantic, I wanted a space that was industrial and edgy - a place the men would love." She had collected inspiration photos over the years, showing spaces with rust walls and steampunk fixtures that she shared with the show.
When asked about the construction process itself, Leigh says the only word to describe it would be "amazing". The Chanteclaire staff was worried about the process since wedding season was still in full swing. "Weddings are very serious business at the farm, and nothing could be allowed to disrupt the events or preparations. The crew was so kind and respectful", says Leigh. "They would disappear Friday morning before the bride arrived and would return on Sunday afternoon after clean up had finished."
The project also involved local vendors and community members. The Welding Rod, Resort Builders, Sunrise Sanitation, Nina Gatto, and many others contributed. "I loved that our friends locally added so much to the project" Leigh says.
Leigh's last glimpse of the space before the big reveal came when the host Jay Chaikin called her in to see her name written in the silo's new concrete foundation. Then came the wait. The team worked quickly, and the refurb was completed within a month.
One of Leigh's favorite things about the process was getting to know Kim Lewis, the remarkable designer brought in to work with Jay and his team. Kim worked on Extreme Makeover Home Edition for years, and has a thriving design business of her own. She and Leigh became fast friends (it's hard not to - she's just that likable).
As you can see from the reveal scene in the show, Leigh was floored by the results. The style suited the property, and the use of vintage items from the farm was the perfect fit for this historic and well loved venue. "Our silo bar is not a replicable space. The word unique is overused, but there is truly nothing on Earth like it. They were able to create the design I was trying to convey with my inspiration photos, and gave me a space I never thought could be mine. When guests come to tour the farm, their jaws literally drop upon seeing the silo. They will stop talking in the middle of a conversation as they walk in, being completely blown away by what they are seeing."
For a chance to see the process yourself, tune in to Animal Planet's Restoration Wild on Friday December 4th at 7pm and 10pm when our episode will air. Tune in each Friday at 7 and 10 for new episodes of the series.