By 1812Bl;ockhouse

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) has announced that it will be seeking bids for a new operator for the Malabar Farm Restaurant, located at in Malabar Farm State Park. This move comes as part of ODNR’s broader initiative to enhance the state’s outdoor recreational and culinary experiences. The bidding process is expected to commence in the coming months, with the aim of reopening the restaurant by Spring 2024.

A Rich Tapestry of History and Nature

Nestled in the Pleasant Valley of Richland County, Malabar Farm State Park is not just another park; it’s a piece of living history. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1973, the park was the dream of Pulitzer Prize-winning author and conservationist Louis Bromfield. Visitors can tour the Big House, hike nature trails, and even drive atop Mt. Jeez, experiencing the park much as they would have in Bromfield’s time.

From Malabar Inn to Malabar Farm Restaurant

Louis Bromfield had always envisioned opening the Malabar Inn as a restaurant. His dream was realized in the 1960s when the inn began its operations under the stewardship of Agnes Schwartz and Polly Kunkle Wurtz. Known for its good, local food, the restaurant has seen several operators over the years but has maintained its reputation for quality. After undergoing renovations, the restaurant reopened in 2021 but closed its doors again in July 2023.

A Balance of Conservation and Culinary Excellence

The ODNR Division of Parks and Watercraft, responsible for managing Ohio’s 75 state parks and waterways, is committed to providing exceptional outdoor recreation and boating opportunities. They aim to strike a balance between the wise use and protection of natural resources for the benefit of all. The upcoming bidding process for the Malabar Farm Restaurant operator aligns with this vision, promising not just a dining experience but a sustainable one that complements the natural beauty and historical significance of the park.

As the ODNR gears up to find a new operator, the Malabar Farm Restaurant stands on the cusp of a new chapter. Whoever takes the helm will not just be running a restaurant; they will be curating a culinary experience deeply rooted in Ohio’s rich history and natural beauty. For those interested in participating in the bidding process or learning more, updates will be available on the Malabar Farm State Park webpage.

For more information, you can contact Andy Chow at ODNR Communications at (614) 265-6860 or visit the ODNR website.

Sources: ODNR, Wikipedia 

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