New Ideas Emerging at an Old Familiar Place

HARDWOOD LAKE – When Eric Abrahams and Kirsten Batsford first set eyes on the old Maplehaus building at 3505 Highway 28, just off Schutt Road, they knew they had found something special. The large building which had been vacant for several years needed some work, but it had the makings of a great venue.

Abrahams works in the broadcasting industry and has a background in audio engineering. The building had a place for a studio off to the side and the main area was large enough to host bands and a wide range of events. Both he and Kirsten loved cooking, so the restaurant, studio and stage combination were the perfect situation for their talents to come together.

In the years between when the building was last open, and when Eric and Kirsten purchased it, building codes had changed. The couple had to do a lot of work to bring things up to the new standards. They installed a brand-new kitchen, pulled off the old deck and installed a new one.

Local trades were employed to carryout out the upgrades, but the couple was adamant that the essential character of the main building be preserved as much as possible. They recognized not only the craftsmanship that went into the building’s construction, but also the many memories locals have of the place. To alter its appearance too much would take away from the intrinsic beauty of the place and would wipe out many of the good memories people have associated with various features that make Maplehaus what it is.

Eric and Kirsten commented that visitors to the place have shared some of their memories which include stories of family members who helped to construct the building. The original sugar shack on the property was built in 1970, and the large building that now serves as the restaurant was put up in 1979 by local builders. The building’s connection to the locals who built it is part of what gives the place its special flare.

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