Behind the scenes as The Guild House reopens in downtown Bakersfield

Local News

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Local volunteer-run restaurant, The Guild House has reopened Tuesday after a short summer break.

KGET.com went behind the scenes to see how volunteers prepare for reopening. 

Former Guild House president, Ellen Plugge, has been volunteering for nine years and is excited to be back. 

“We always open up the Tuesday after Labor Day after a summer vacation,” Plugge said, “because we are all volunteers so we open up the day after Labor Day and we’re open until mid-June.”

The preparation in re-opening The Guild House takes plenty of diligent planning, set forth weeks in advance. 

Head cook, Pat Coyle has been serving at The Guild House for five years and says it takes everybody’s help to be ready for the first day back.

“Two weeks ago we bought all the food and then once we get here, we assign different recipes to different staff members or volunteers,” Coyle said. “We make sure everything gets done … we got to make sure everything is done by 11:30 a.m., ready to go for our first customers.” 

Built back in 1909 The Guild House has much of its original features. The hardwood through the interior of the house gives it character often times found in homes of that time — offering customers a unique experience. 

“We have a lot of unique rooms available for our customers to dine and we have specialized lunches, three-course meals and all for $17.15,” Plugge said. 

With the help of over 200 active volunteers, The Guild House has raised over $2.1 million dollars. All the proceeds are allocated towards the Henrietta Weill Memorial Child Guidance Clinic, a non-profit mental health agency here in Bakersfield. 

“The nice thing about volunteering here at the guild house is that you know you are helping those people who need the help, you gain a family beyond your family with the people that you work with,” Plugge said.

The Guild House is now open Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. up until mid-June. If you would like to eat or volunteer at The Guild House call 661-325-5478.

“We we love to have our old customers, we would love to have people who have just moved to Bakersfield come and see us … so come on in, come have lunch with us,” Plugge said. 

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