Acre, located at 210 E. Glenn Ave., broke ground this week.
“Acre Restaurant, we went and bought an acre of land downtown. So we named the restaurant Acre,” Bancroft said.
Bancroft’s distinct style of cuisine will be the greatest appeal to Acre.
He graduated from Auburn in 2006 and began working as Executive Chef of Amsterdam Café.
He then moved to the AU Club as their Head Chef in 2011.
Bancroft will use local farm fresh ingredients and will have a seasonal menu based around his garden.
“This Acre is going to be my little sustainable acre downtown,” Bancroft said. “I’m going to have a garden on site. I’m going to have fruit trees and peach trees.”
Acre will also host its own Toomer’s Tree to bring even more of Auburn to the new Acre.
The capacity of Acre will be 180 people and 4800 sq. ft. building with two patios, one facing Glenn and another into a cobblestone courtyard.
The courtyard will face a row of retail shops topped by three condos.
According to Bancroft, they are still in the market for what those shops will hold, but one will be a local coffee shop.
Bancroft is working with the development firm Dilworth Development.
“His style for cooking and our style of building are somewhat similar,” Founder Michael Dilworth said. “There’s a casualness to it. We use a lot of reclaimed materials and a lot of natural materials, kind of a rustic elegance type of flavor to the interior finishes into the style of our construction.”
The bar-lounge will boast a 24-foot vaulted ceiling and use cypress wood from Bancroft’s family farm.
“We’re using a bunch wood raptors, wood beams and that style,” Bancroft said. “The kitchen is going to be an open floor plan where you can sit at a bar at the kitchen. It’s literally going to be a wrap-around bar that you can sit at and watch the kitchen.”
Bancroft restaurant is designed to cultivate the southern atmosphere of Auburn and foster the open exchange found in cooking.
“I want people to see what we were doing,” Bancroft said. “I wanted them to interact. Seeing us smoking meats and hanging meats, in the winter times hanging hams. And just kind of bringing back some of the culture that has been void.”
Bancroft takes on this endeavor with his family. They help him with planning, contracts and to Bancroft has become a family project.
“All of these people on my team are also Auburn Alum,” Bancroft said. “There are over 14 Alumni in my family from Auburn. Everybody in my family feels drawn and is tugging at their heartstrings to get this project. Because they know when they come back from the games they’ll know they have their place.”
Bancroft hails from San Antonio and draws on his roots in his cooking.
“People that went to my middle school and high school will probably laugh and say he was always cooking Texas style barbecue, brisket and smoking ribs, dear meat and sausage,” Bancroft said. “At that point it was a hobby. Before I’d go to baseball practice all day I’d throw a brisket on the smoker, go to baseball practice, come back four hours later and it’d be ready.”