Godfrey, IL — Rex Hale is pretty much living his dream, chopping up signature salads in his own restaurant -- with produce grown on his own grounds.

"All of this is from the garden here at Bakers and Hale," he says, gesturing to a table full of vegetables.

His garden is set to grow from restaurant to road, growing everything from peppers to strawberries.

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"Where better to do that than in a community where there's still farming going on every day?" he says.

Instead of farm to table, Hale calls it seed to table. He applies the concept to the entrees, and head bartender Rory Morse puts the garden in a glass. Morse even makes the juice for his "bees in the carrot patch" cocktail in house.

"It's really a dream come true for a bartender who likes the hyper-local scene," Morse says.

At Bakers and Hale, that appreciation of the hyper local is evident on the tables -- painted by students from the local montessori school -- and on the walls, decorated with pictures of owner Kelsi Baker Walden's family.

Baker Walden and Hale hope that while the food brings diners over, those personal touches help build the sense of community that will turn them into regulars.

Bakers & Hale is open Monday through Saturday, 3 - 10p.m. They recommend reservations for dining room seating.

Bakers & Hale

7120 Montclaire Ave.

Godfrey, IL 62035

(618) 433-9748

bakershale.com