Restaurant, recreation centers open in Village of Fenney

Friday was a happening day at the Village of Fenney.

In quick succession, ribbons were cut at the Blue Heron Postal and Recreation Center, the Fenney Recreation Center and the Fenney Grill. Villages Recreation Director John Rohan opened the celebration encouraging people to take advantage of all the green space Fenney has to offer.

Wildwood Commissioner Joe Elliott, center with scissors, helped cut the ribbon at the new Blue Heron Recreation Center and Postal Station.
Wildwood Commissioner Joe Elliott, center with scissors, helped cut the ribbon at the new Blue Heron Recreation Center and Postal Station.
Elsie Rakes and Geri Johnson
Elsie Rakes and Geri Johnson

The Villages Cheerleaders cheered and the Villages Walkers offered a sea of red backdrop as the ribbon at the Blue Heron Recreation Center and Postal Station was cut.

The green space is what brings Alhambra resident Geri Johnson to Fenney.

She often comes over to walk in this area. She attended the event with her friend, Bonnybrook resident Elsie Rakes.

“I enjoy going to all the rec center openings,” said Rakes.

Next up was the grand opening of the Fenney Recreation Center.

The center is light and airy with high windows accentuating that feel in the main reception area. A sales and information center is located in the center along with a fitness club and the Orange Blossom Café. Open from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily, the café will serve fresh muffins, pastries, coffee and smoothies.

Gallery artists Diane Anderson, Nancy Dias and Leda Rabenold.
Gallery artists Diane Anderson, Nancy Dias and Leda Rabenold.

A permanent artist showcase is housed in the Fenney Recreation Center.  “A call went out to all Villages artists to submit their work,” said artist Nancy Dias. “The theme was Florida nature. The selected artists were notified last fall with a February deadline.” The artwork, now a permanent exhibit at the recreation center, includes paintings, photography and sculpture.

Wildwood Commissioner and soon-to-be Fenney resident Joe Elliott and his wife Barbara attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony. They are in the moving process from their home in Antrim Dells.

“We took a drive over here and said if we find a peaceful place with a view of a pond and a pool, we just might be interested,” said Barbara. She said they opened the front door of what is to be their new home, saw the view out back and knew they had found their new home. Elliott took office in January. Currently, the Elliotts live in Antrim Dells.

Commissioner Joe Elliott and wife Barbara at the new recreation center.
Commissioner Joe Elliott and wife Barbara at the new recreation center.

“When we moved there I became interested in Wildwood,” said Elliot.

As a resident he attended every commission meeting in 2016.

“I wanted to find out what Wildwood had to offer and what were the needs,” he said.

He was inspired to run for commissioner.

“Toughest part-time job I’ve ever had and I love it,” said Elliott.

Fenney Grill manager Chad Prilliman with very satisfied customers Debbie and Joe Langmeyer.
Fenney Grill manager Chad Prilliman with very satisfied customers Debbie and Joe Langmeyer.

The final ribbon was cut to officially open the Fenney Grill, a restaurant with a farm-to-table concept.

“Everything is as fresh as it can be, fresh produce, fresh fruit,” said restaurant manager Chad Prilliman. “We roast our meats in-house and most of the breads are baked right here.”

Fenney residents Debbie and Joe Langmeyer enjoyed a late breakfast at the grill.

“It was very good everything tasted fresh,” said Joe. “Everything is very reasonably priced,” added Debbie. Currently the restaurant is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.