A local developer could tear down the Winking Lizard tavern and Bravo Cucina Italiana in Crosswoods to make way for a 168-unit extended-stay facility.
Westerville-based Metro Development is seeking to build a hotel called Hayden Reserve on the site occupied by Winking Lizard, 100 Hutchinson Ave., and Bravo, adjacent to the northwest at 7470 Vantage Drive, according to documents filed with the city of Columbus. Crosswoods is in Columbus, just north of Interstate 270 and Worthington off U.S. Route 23.
Hayden Reserve would be considered an extended-stay hotel because the zoning on those particular lots would require commercial uses on the first floor and residential above it, said Anthony Celebrezze, spokesman for the Columbus Department of Development.
It will in effect be an apartment complex even thought it won’t technically fit that strict definition in the zoning code, Celebrezze said.
“If they wanted to do straight apartment, they would have to get a rezoning or amend the CPD (commercial-planned development, a zoning designation for the area),” he said.
Celebrezze said the development is under review by city agencies. For example, he said, Metro Development has asked for a Columbus Board of Zoning Adjustment variance for a parking setback at the Winking Lizard property.
Bravo Development owns the parcel at Vantage Drive, according to the Franklin County Auditor’s Office.
No one from Bravo or Metro Development could be reached for comment Dec. 5.
Meanwhile, the Winking Lizard will close in February after its lease expires, just shy of its 15th anniversary at the spot.
John Lane, co-owner and vice president of operations of the Cleveland-based chain, said the landlord wasn’t interested in renewing the lease.
“It’s kind of sad,” Lane said. “I wish we could stay at that location.”
However, the company will open a new tavern at 7995 E. Broad St. in Reynoldsburg at the end of February, Lane said. Crosswoods employees will be given an opportunity to move to the new location, he said.
Crosswoods was the first central Ohio location for Winking Lizard Tavern Inc. when it opened in 2003. The company soon added three others in the region.
Winking Lizard is known for its selection of imported beer and microbrews.