I’m going to try to keep this a bit more brief after writing approximately one million words yesterday. I had another million, but cut myself off. I appreciate the response so many of you had to Jeremiah and I hope you’ll attend his concerts and support his Go Fund Me campaign to buy his new cello.
I’ve written in some detail about Babalu, the restaurant coming to the largest street-level space of the JC Penney Building. I won’t cover that terrain again, but I did get a look at the most recent plans when I attended the Downtown Design Review Board, yesterday. Most of the conversation has been about the form the patio will take. My most recent update suggested it will include a bug screen and now that has been moved behind the patio and will be in place when the wall is opened up, as it will be when the weather is good.
They’ve altered the canopy and the seating area has been trimmed to eight feet from the building which is, I believe, slightly less than Downtown Grill and Brewery just down the sidewalk. They’ve removed the columns lining the front of the seating area, giving it a more open feel and they’ve worked around KUB’s concerns regarding access to the sidewalk grate. The external doors onto the patio have been redesigned to the form you see represented in the diagram. Bottom line: They are doing the tedious work required to keep moving ahead and we should have a restaurant, soon. The latest I’ve heard is sometime this fall.
The Kress Building has been the source of numerous questions directed my way. When the news broke that Wild Wing Cafe would take the bulk of the first floor street-level, it was greeted with some skepticism downtown. As shown in the plans, however, they are moving ahead with the design phase and presented their plans for the external portion of the building to the Downtown Design Review Board, receiving approval to proceed.
Looking at the plans, several things come into focus. It appears the seating capacity will be a bit under 80, which is fewer than I had imagined there. Part of the reason for this is the rather large stage planned for the restaurant. I know at their west location they host bluegrass music, so it appears they will continue to support live music. I’ll take that over televisions in restaurants, any day.
The exterior of the building, as you can tell in the comparison photographs compared to the new rendering, will look more like it looked originally than it has in several decades, even though there will be some significant structural differences which aren’t immediately obvious. For far more detail, including many additional drawings, follow this link: More Wild Wing Cafe detail
They also have outdoor seating in their plans and the doors fold to connect the inside to the outside. This will make quite a corridor of outdoor seating if you consider the eastern side of that block with outdoor seating for 5 Bar (new), Sapphire, Downtown Grill and Brewery, Downtown Grind and Babalu and along the western side both Suttree’s and Wild Wing Cafe. It promises to be a lively corridor.