Helmich's, to be turned into a soda fountain and connected to a restaurant at Kavanaugh and Beechwood.
Fans of the cured and fresh meats of Brandon Brown
, who shuttered the popular Hillcrest Artisan Meats last year and sold up to Thomas Bohm for his District Fare eatery, will be happy to hear he'll be on board with a new restaurant at Kavanaugh Boulevard and Beechwood Street.
The new family-friendly restaurant, to be operated by The Fountain's Daniel Bryant
, got the go-ahead from the Hillcrest Residents Association
on Monday night to demolish a four-plex at 703 Beechwood as part of the plan, which includes reuse of the Helmich garage and a new structure.
There had been opposition to demolition from neighborhood preservationists because of the age of the structure, which was built at the turn of the century and is a contributing structure to the neighborhood's historic status. However, the house was converted to apartments in the mid-20th century and zoned as commercial property because of its proximity to Kavanaugh. Demolition will allow construction of parking and a "pocket park" that will be open to the neighborhood as well as the restaurant's customers. Wifi will be available to park users, and Bryant says he hopes he can keep it "dog-friendly" in this neighborhood, where the population of pet dogs is roughly equivalent to that of humans.
Bryant said the inspiration for the restaurant is the Shake Shack in Madison Square Park
in New York City. The new structure will be brought to the sidewalk, as the neighborhood's design overlay requires, and will include a bar that seats 18 and eight tables. It will be connected by a breezeway to the Helmich structure, which will be renovated to house a soda fountain, kitchen and
bathrooms. Fans of Burger Fridays at H.A.M. will be glad to hear the menu will feature "good old American burgers," Bryant said, as well as sandwiches like those served at H.A.M. and ice cream.
Bryant said landscaping will include trees — bigger than saplings — and a low fence made of benches and planters. A large tree in the yard of the structure on Beechwood that will come down will be preserved.
There's no name yet for the restaurant, which, if things go smoothly with permits and construction, could open by late fall.