By Parker Leavitt for The Arizona Republic
A 60-year-old farm hut in Gilbert may soon become the only place where you can stroll through a mix of restaurants and machine shops, past a microbrewery and into a design studio or wood-working shop – all under one roof.
“Barnone” is the latest project in the works for Agritopia near Higley and Ray roads in Gilbert. Developer Joe Johnston plans to convert a 1950s Quonset hut into a bazaar for all things hand-crafted.
When Barnone opens next year, the complex will house artfully made food and other goods from 11 different businesses lined up to fill the hut and two new buildings. Construction should begin in January.
It includes, specifically: two “micro-restaurants,” a winery/distillery, a microbrewery, two machine shops, a florist, wood-working shop, salon, design studio for paper products and barn space for Agritopia’s working farm, Johnston said.
The contractor will be Caliente Construction, which is the same company that built Johnston’s Liberty Market restaurant in downtown Gilbert.
Since Johnston’s widely-successful launch of the Coffee Plantation franchise in 1989, he has busied himself with a variety of business ventures, including development of the uniquely-designed Agritopia community. Johnston started Joe’s Real BBQ in 1998 and Joe’s Farm Grill about a decade ago.
Barnone will not be open to traditional retailers and chain stores; the core craft items for sale at each business must be made on-site. The spaces range from just 250 square feet to about 1,200 square feet, Johnston said.
The project is planned in conjunction with Agritopia’s much-larger Epicenter mixed-use development, which is also slated to begin in early January.
Read more at The Arizona Republic.