by Florence W Deems
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When J. Seward Johnson and friends established the Grounds for Sculpture, they decided to build an upscale restaurant on the property. Since The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame was one of Johnson's favorite books as a kid, he wanted to use themes from that story around the grounds. One of these, animal characters offering food to the others, became the name for this restaurant, Rat's Restaurant. In the story, Rat lived on a house boat and never had a restaurant, but he was always talking about food. Thus, Johnson gave him a restaurant at long last. Below are scenes from around the restaurant area.

The first image shows the fanciful entrance to the restaurant, with a bench nearby. The second is a diptych showing two views of the entrance. It is supposed to resemble a tinker's wagon.

Please click on the images to see a larger size.

Rat's entrance Entrance showing its tinkerer's shape

Below is a map of the Grounds for Sculpture. Rat's is labeled at the top of the map. To the building's left is the courtyard with a tree island in its center. To the building's right are the two ponds and the gazebo/dance hall. The building between the small Y and L is Toad Hall Shop & Gallery, the gift shop and small art gallery. Click on map image to see a larger version.

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