Donatos Black Brick Bar to Feature Craft Beer and Live Music
Last September, Elford Development submitted a proposal that called for the demolition and reconstruction of the Donatos building in the Short North. It was mentioned then that the new building would include a renovated and revamped Donatos restaurant, but last week the company unveiled more about the new concept.
“We have an opportunity to build new restaurants and help with that corner at First and High and make it a better location,” said Thomas Pendrey. “Our Short North restaurant was built in 1994, and it’s performing well and actually growing faster than average. But we want to be the best community partner and neighbor we can be, and that’s part of the reason we want to make this substantial investment in this location. The Short North and Italian Village areas are transforming and we want to help support that transformation.”
Phase one of the project will see the construction of a new Donatos location next door to the existing one, so that the existing store can remain open throughout construction. When the new store is completed, phase two of the project will begin, which will see the demolition of the older building, replaced by a connected two-story building on the corner of High and First that will house the first Donatos “Black Brick Bar” in addition to another restaurant tenant and additional retail space.
The Black Brick Bar will be a first for Donatos, which will be interconnected to the pizzeria and will feature a selection of craft beers and a stage for live music performances. The University District location at 2084 North High Street also serves beer and hosts music events in the basement, but the Short North location will be the first to carry the new moniker.
“Donatos founder Jim Grote, before he even had his first restaurant, had a vision of a black brick pizzeria,” explains Pendrey. “That was part of his vision of the future, so the name is significant because it represents both our heritage and the future of our business. Plus, we know that craft beer goes very well with pizza.”
Pendrey expects construction of the new location to begin in June with a quick completion planned for October. The second phase would begin immediately afterward with completion planned for 2016. The combined Donatos and Black Brick Bar will take up approximately 3,000 square feet of the building with a small sidewalk patio on High Street. Some of the site plans submitted to the Italian Village Commission include storage tanks on the exterior of the building, lending some to speculate that the additional restaurant tenant on the corner will be a brewery or brewpub of some sort.
“Within a short amount of time we’ll be able to announce who that tenant is,” said Pendrey. “It will be a restaurant.”
That yet-to-be-named restaurant will also feature a roof-top patio space on top of the new Donatos building.
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