- Courtesy of Cornerstore Burger
Longtime friends and business partners Rich McSheffrey and Keith Paxman always wanted to own a local hangout — a cozy neighborhood joint where locals could convene for simple eats, fresh beer and great cocktails.
The two opened casual gastrobar Cornerstone Pub & Kitchen in 2012 and Two Loco Guys in early 2014, but neither of those Barre restaurants quite fit the bill. "Cornerstone is our baby," Paxman tells Seven Days. "We love it. But it's not the hangout we're looking to create." The duo hopes that Cornerstone Burger — which they'll open later this winter in the Northfield space where the Knotty Shamrock once stood — will be that place.
Paxman says the new concept revolves around gourmet burgers and builds on the success of their burger menu in Barre. Cornerstone Pub offers at least eight different patties made with everything from venison to black beans. In addition to those, the new restaurant will serve other sandwiches, wings and pubby snacks, along with 15 or so beers on draft and a selection of handcrafted cocktails.
Though Cornerstone Pub executive chef Paul Fucello will oversee the menu, Paxman stresses that the Northfield restaurant will not be simply a downsized Cornerstone 2.0. "We like the idea that people come to Cornerstone [Pub] for specific things," Paxman says, and Cornerstone Burger will offer different attractions.
As for the space, Paxman was mum on the details, pending an auction this week that will help clear out the place. "We don't want to give away all the surprises yet," he says, but notes that he hopes to showcase native features such as brick, reclaimed wood and cast iron. "There are nice bones in the building," he notes.
If all goes well, Cornerstone Burger will open in February. And if the new business prospers, Paxman says, the restaurateur duo hopes to expand again — perhaps even beyond state lines.