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Two new 'Wild' food experiences coming to Elora

Geoffrey Wild, owner of the Wild Tart and the Tartlet, spoke about his new culinary venture in the heart of downtown Elora
The Elora Diner and Badley Bar will share the same space but will offer patrons completely different experiences.

Elora is rich for its culture and heritage, and local restaurateur Geoffrey Wild is bridging the gap between the two by offering two new culinary experiences on Metcalfe Street.

Wild, owner of the Wild Tart and the Tartlet, is working on a new place that will include two different themed spaces. Wild has worked in the hotel industry and credits that experience for his idea of creating two different experiences in the same space with his new ventures, The Elora Diner and the Badley Bar.

“If you walk into some of the top hotels around the world and you walk into the reception area and on one hand you have the restaurant and on the other hand you have the bar but essentially it is the same big space,” Wild said. “We wanted to create the same thing here where you have different kinds of meal experiences and you've got different kinds of things that that attract your senses when you walk in.”

Wild said the Elora Diner will be inspired by the classic '50s diner experience and Badley Bar is inspired by the old bridge in Elora. Each section of the space will have its own clear theme.

The diner décor includes booths and black and white flooring, while Badley Bar will have elements from the bridge and pay homage the heritage of the Grand River.

Both spaces will also offer completely different culinary experiences.

“The diner is going to be a breakfast, lunch and dinner restaurant, family style breakfasts and lunches,” Wild said.

He said the diner food will be similar to what was served during the summer community barbecue on the patio at Metcalfe and Mill streets.

“It gave people a bit of an intro to what we're going to be doing once the diner actually opens,” Wild said. “So, you know, obviously, it wasn’t a full range of food we could produce because we were running off of a propane barbecue. … But excellent burgers, rib features, porchetta, pulled pork, brisket, stuff like that.”

Wild said Badley Bar will be a much more elevated experience than the diner, offering tapas style food and sharing platters. He also said the food will be accompanied by an “excellent” wine list.

“It's a pretty cool little cocktail bar concept that we're putting in there and the reason for that is it gives us diversity, we're not just one big restaurant serving one type of food,” Wild said. “It gives a lot of different options for people and really cool places where people can go and do something cool with their family, or come out for a nice date night and have a little bit of an interesting food experience.”

The current opening date is not yet decided as it’s been a labour of love to renovate and revitalize the over 150-year-old historic building on Metcalfe Street

“If you want to restore something like this, you have two options,” Wild said. “You can throw some paint  on and do it haphazardly or you just go all guns blazing and do it properly for once and for all and just open with something decent.”

Wild said he is hoping for an early 2022 opening date. He also said he is planning on doing some work on the patio to create a fully functional multi-restaurant space by next summer.

“We’re just kind of keeping the momentum going, you know, keep people interested in what we're actually what we're actually about to launch next door,” Wild said.