Rendering of Spirit's Rooftop Garden project
In the few short years since it took over the former Moose Lodge in Lawrenceville, Spirit has become a cultural force as a local destination for live music, DJ dance parties, art, and other events. There’s also its Slice Island pizza shop, brunch, and cocktails made with fresh ingredients, all aspects the venue hopes to boost with the completion of its Rooftop Garden.
The Rooftop Garden will span 5,000-square-feet and feature green space, solar panels, and a 50-person dining area, as well as improvements like a new roof and better sound insulation that would prevent noisy events from disturbing the surrounding neighborhood.
"It was always the goal since before we even opened to eventually grow produce on the roof,” says Spirit founder and co-owner Thomas Barr.
While Spirit currently grows its own produce and herbs in a variety of raised beds, Barr wants the Rooftop Garden to both supply and innovate the bar and events space.
Rooftop Garden project manager Kelsey Sheridan with some of Spirit's mushroom harvest
“We hope that the project will really institutionalize Spirit in a way and help us to continue our goal of being a good neighbor, as well as a sort of industry home base for progressive and sustainable culture,” says Barr.
Spirit hopes to launch phase one of the project with funds from an IOBY campaign
meant to raise the $38,000 needed for structural improvements and to build two sets of stairs going up to the roof. So far, the campaign has raised over $13,550.
The venue has hosted a number of fundraising events for the project, including an upcoming garden aid barbeque on Sat., July 20 that will feature music, guest bartenders, a silent auction, and food made from Spirit’s latest harvest of leafy greens, herbs, and mushrooms. All proceeds from the event will go towards the project and maintaining Spirit's current garden.
Once phase one has completed, Spirit management hopes to embark on phase two, which would include adding plant-covering hoop houses, a small apiary for bees, and rainwater catchment systems to decrease stormwater runoff and pollution.