The Robert-Willard Harris Brooks & Andrew Bradford Foyer Bar located in the heart of the Retreat House got some attention last winter. We added new bar stools on the Lounge side of the two-sided bar area. We love their driftwood-like aesthetic and the contrast they provide against the rich mahogany Douglas Fir board and batten paneling and trim throughout the Retreat House. The stools are very comfortable, setting the scene for relaxed bar-side banter over your favorite beverage. The bar offers a wine cooler and two bar sinks. The copper brewmeister in the center of the foyer side of the bar is a relic of bygone days, but it adds to the character of the bar.
In 2006, I dedicated this space to two fine gentlemen that enjoy a good drink from time to time: my baby brother Robert-Willard Harris Brooks and his childhood friend who lived in the summer, two cottages down from us, Andrew Bradford. As boys growing up on the Point, these two always entertained themselves easily, most often in their father’s and grandfather’s workshops. They were always building something… a hideout, a treehouse, a potato gun! They shared tools, focus, ingenuity and a zest for finding trouble. Their antics kept most of the neighborhood entertained and on alert. They always had a little twinkle in their eye when the inspiration struck to create something together. They always reminded me of two tiny, salty pirates, always on the hunt for their next adventure and treasure. Some thirty years later, both grown men have gone on to found their own companies.
My brother Rob is a professional sailor, but he is an accomplished engineer with a company called Triton Products that manufactures from molds, custom fending systems originally for the marine industry. The company now applies its work in composites for specialized goods across other industries. When we restored the Retreat House in 2005, Rob came to our aid in fabricating all of the exterior patio railings on property. Rob welded each post and hand-tied each rope railing to help keep our guests safe and keep the location looking beautiful. The result of the work is an aesthetic that is quite at home on the ocean offering a nautical feel.
Andrew is an architect by training and master furniture/cabinet maker who owns Bradford Designs. When it came to building a bar in the middle of the main floor of the Retreat House, we asked Andrew to create one that looked as though it had been here for ages, but would also be functional. During the demolition process before the building of the bar, we found two bottles of whiskey in the walls, left by the original builder in 1909. It was as if the building was saying “a bar would be just perfect, right here.” Andrew imported Douglas Fir from Oregon for the bar and other areas of the Retreat House that needed this wood to carry the original details throughout the large house. The bar is sealed with a clear coat of marine-grade epoxy, a fitting finish since the interior or the Retreat House feels like a tall-masted schooner.
We see Rob and Andrew rarely these days as their careers have limited their time at the Point. But each of them will always have a stool waiting for them here in the Retreat House because we could not have finished these projects without them.
We will share the details of the other Retreat House enhancements in upcoming posts. We hope you love them as much as we do.
Photography by Greta Tucker