The Black Crow opened their new Crow’s Garden on Tuesday to the public.
The Beatrice restaurant also hosted a Main Street Meet and Mingle on Tuesday, where there was a ribbon cutting ceremony to announce the opening of their new outside dining area.
Owner Kate Ratigan said she is looking forward to utilizing the space and believes there is a lot of enthusiasm around having a space like this in Beatrice.
“There’s not many places like this, even in Lincoln, to eat outside like this,” she said.
The lot located at 407 Court St. was sold to Ratigan and her husband on Nov. 1 of last year. Ratigan said that there was still a need to fix up the building on the other side of the lot. The weather also needed to warm up before they could start construction.
“This other building here, it needed some repairs." Ratigan said.
Ratigan said that they started their work in the middle of May. The lot was only a few slabs of concrete and some mud. They had help from multiple people to get where they are today.
Hartig Electricity helped wire and set up the light fixtures outside, Verlyn Dodge created the door way and the fence at the front of the lot and Jim Bates helped with the rest of the privacy fencing around the area. Ratigan also had family help with the project.
“My brother Ratigan-Schottler, Pat Ratigan finished all this wood for us and did all the trim, and they are also going to do our sign to say ‘Crow’s Garden, drinks, food, fun,’ and it’s going to have a similar appearance to our Black Crow sign,” Ratigan said. “And it’s (the sign) going to be a hand-painted wooden sign by my sister Eileen Ratigan, who painted the Black Crow sign."
Ratigan said her family loves fixing up things and making the restaurant beautiful. She said she believes she has made this place a great place for downtown Beatrice.
“City planners don’t like to have just empty spots in downtown. They call it a missing tooth and I thought, 'well, rather than have just an empty spot, I can have something that is a real asset for downtown,'” Ratigan said.
She said that there are a few little things left to do, as well as putting in a pavilion next year to hopefully do some serving outside. She plans to have lots of entertainment and said that they might even include some events with football next year so people can come and enjoy the games in the Crow’s Garden.