Less than two months after announcing they were selling their downtown Peterborough restaurant, Rare owners Tyler and Kassy Scott have launched a new venture in the space at 166 Brock Street.
With Rare Culinary Arts Studio, Tyler and Kassy have reimagined the traditional restaurant as a culinary arts studio, where they will offer educational seminars, intimate tasting dinners, pop-up food events, community events, and more.
The couple, who have two young daughters, purchased Rare Grill House from Brad and Katie Watt in 2019. In January 2020, the couple renovated the interior of the building and re-branded the restaurant as “Rare” — and then the pandemic hit two months later.
After navigating the pandemic for two years, the couple announced in early April they were selling their restaurant, citing their rediscovered love of the outdoors and the desire for a lifestyle change. They put the restaurant on the market and launched a new business called Rare Escape, offering guided outdoor culinary experiences twice a month on weekends.
By mid-May, with lots of interest but no solid offers for a new owner to take over the restaurant, they announced their final dinner service would be on May 28th. A few days before the May 21st derecho storm hit, the couple were at a coffee shop planning for their second last weekend at the restaurant when the idea for Rare Culinary Arts Studio took shape.
“At the time we both believed that in order to pursue our next chapter (without restaurant ownership), we would have to let go of our beautiful restaurant space,” Kassy wrote on social media. “It was an emotional month processing this transition. We knew that our careers would continue to grow within the culinary industry. The thought of letting go of our kitchen really ate away at us. We just didn’t know how we would swing the overhead costs to keep it. We have poured our heart and soul into this space.”
When Tyler suggested converting Rare into a space dedicated to the culinary arts, the couple was inspired to explore the concept.
“As soon as we sat down to our table the pen hit the paper and the ideas started to flow,” Kassy wrote. “We had maybe two sips each of coffee because we were so focused on the crazy idea that there could be an opportunity to keep our space. We realized that it doesn’t have to end. We can continue to make our mark in this industry while still taking care of our mental health, exploring our outdoor passions through Rare Escape, and now we also have the chance to curate a unique setting for all kinds of experiences that connect people to food.”
“Needless to say, we left that coffee shop with a bounce in our step and a complete change of heart about selling our restaurant. We reached out to our amazing real estate agent (who also didn’t want to see Rare go) and immediately took the listing off the market.”
When the derecho storm and subsequent power outage changed the couple’s plans for their final dinner service on May 28th, Tyler and Kassy announced their plans for Rare Culinary Arts Studio
They also announced they would be continuing with their frozen goods program, where they offer frozen meals, preserves, and eventually dehydrated meals for outdoor enthusiasts through their Rare Escape venture.
Rare Culinary Arts Studio launched at the beginning of June with an event for the First Friday Art Crawl, where Chef Tyler offered a walk-in pay-what-you-can artistic plate inspired by seasonal ingredients and photographer Brandon Stark displayed his “Crafting Art” craft beer photo exhibit.
Rare Culinary Arts Studio is offering three more events during June:
- On Wednesday, June 8th from 6 to 7:30 p.m., people are invited to attend an informational night about Tyler and Kassy’s outdoor culinary business Rare Escape. The evening will include a local snack provided by Chef Tyler and the bar will be open. The cost is $15 plus HST and walk-ins are welcome (if space is available).
- On Sunday, June 19th, Chef Tyler is offering a Father’s Day four-course tasting menu inspired by seasonal ingredients and paired with wine and beer. The dinner is $125 per person (plus HST) and reservations are required.
- On Wednesday, June 29th from 6 to 8:30 p.m., Chef Tyler will be offering the first Rare Culinary Arts Studio seminar on exploring local food systems. The evening will include a market snack provided by Chef Tyler and the bar will be open. The seminar is $50 per person (plus HST) and reservations are required.