A by-product of my conversation with Aussie chef Andrew Ormsby featured in July’s Advocate was a fascinating tour through his “compound”, comprised of Tucker Bar and Restaurant, Victoria Hall and his adjacent home.

The story focused on Ormsby’s burgeoning business as a lunchroom caterer for private schools like St. Thomas Aquinas — a business doing so well that, sadly, Ormsby closed the operation of Tucker as a restaurant this summer and will henceforth use it as a banquet hall, not unlike Victoria Hall. Ormsby says he can much better utilize the dining areas combined (and separately) for parties small and large (up to around 700!). But he isn’t refusing to re-open Tucker as a restaurant, just waiting for the right time. Luckily the scenery won’t get a facelift amid the changes.

Ormsby’s love for reclaimed objects, especially wood, dominates the décor throughout the compound. The Tucker website lists most of the antiques found in the restaurant and catering hall, including the building itself, which was used as a Tucker automobile showroom during the ’40s. Many accessory pieces are local finds (literally, the fireplace hails from a 1920s mansion on Abrams) and others are drawn from all over the world. Ormsby’s home is no different, just harbors less foot traffic. You can view highlights from the compound in this photo album.

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