Plans call for expanding downtown restaurant Stan’s Bar-B-Q
March 2, 2009
By Warren Kagarise
Project would bring office, residential space
On Friday afternoons, when lunchtime crowds line up at Stan’s Bar-B-Q, waits can stretch up to 35 minutes as diners jostle for plates of brisket and ribs. A proposed expansion of the dining room, which would add 45 or so seats to the bustling Front Street barbecue joint, would be welcome, said owner Stan Phillips.
A proposal being considered by city planners could deliver a larger dining room for Phillips. Plans submitted by the property owner call for the demolition of a structure adjacent the restaurant and construction of a 7,642-square-foot addition.
The three-story addition would be built on the site of Front Street Salon. The barbershop — which sits at street level — would be demolished to make way for the structure. Plans call for the barbershop to reopen in the first floor of the addition. The second floor would contain space for offices, and the third floor would be a residential unit. The property owner is also proposing a new parking lot at 195 First Place N.W. to handle parking for the addition.
As part of the planning process, city officials are seeking input from business owners and residents regarding the proposal for 58 Front St. N. Comments will be accepted until March 6. Submitted concerns and suggestions will be weighed as the project moves forward.
Property owner Keith Watts, president of Watts Properties LLC, said he hopes to increase the amount of usable space on the site. Watts estimated the costs of demolition and construction would be below $500,000. He said he would like to complete the project by the end of the year.
Because of the Front Street location, the project must meet certain design standards. City Senior Planner Marion O’Brien said developers proposing construction downtown undergo an “extra layer of review for design features.” Details such as glass storefronts are important to help new construction fit in with older buildings downtown, she added.
Watts, whose other tenants include downtown spots like Vino Bella Wine & Espresso Bar and the artbyfire gallery, said he respects the character of historic downtown buildings.
“We’re staying within the guidelines,” he said. “We’d like to keep the look of the downtown.”
Phillips said he hopes the addition will mean more room for tables and a stage for live music at his 5-year-old barbecue restaurant. He also wants to install four standard TVs and a flat-screen unit in the expanded dining room.
As business expanded within the past two years, Phillips said he realized he needed more space. He attributes his restaurant’s success amid the economic downturn to his menu and reasonable prices.
“It’s comfort food,” he said. “And price-point wise, we’re right there.”
Reach Reporter Warren Kagarise at 392-6434, ext. 234, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Comment on this story at www.issaquahpress.com.