An old church building owned by the New Albany Lions Club could be turned into a food-truck-supplied restaurant with a small microbrewery.
A newly formed business entity – comprising New Albany resident Brian Hamrick, his business associate, Joe Dwyer, and two other individuals who have been involved in various restaurants around central Ohio – want to repurpose the building at 6678 Central College Road, which has been there since 1836, said attorney Aaron Underhill, the group’s legal representative.
“Rather than knock down a structure that has a lot of history and architectural character, their first thought was, ‘Is there a way to repurpose the building for a productive use?’” he said.
Underhill said the building is used for Lions Club functions and as a location for a church on a month-to-month basis.
Helen Pestel, secretary and treasurer of the New Albany Lions Club, said the club has owned the building since 1969, and churches have used the building since that time.
The club has not met there for about three or four years, ever since the Faith Christian Center of Columbus, which leases the building, wanted to use it full time, Pestel said.
Because the building has age-related limitations, the business partners believed equipping a full kitchen inside would be cost-prohibitive, Underhill said, and they decided to provide food via food trucks.
Two food trucks at a time typically would be at the restaurant, he said, although three could be there during city holidays, such as the Independence Day and Founders Day celebrations, he said.
The group also plans to build a small microbrewery in the building to provide beverages for the restaurant, Underrhill said.
“It’s meant for on-site consumption,” he said.
Part of the project would include paving the building’s parking lot to provide 40 spaces, Underhill said. A deck also would be built on the building’s east side, he said.
The surrounding space could incorporate recreational activities, such as cornhole lawn games, Underhill said. An outdoor water station would be provided for cyclists.
Underhill said the establishment would be family-friendly.
“The scale of this is pretty small,” he said.
The New Albany Planning Commission on Jan. 22 will review a proposal to rezone the land, which is on 0.93 acre northeast of and adjacent to the intersection of Central College Road and state Route 605, from agricultural to infill-planned-unit development, according to the project application.
The applicant, listed on the application as TFTFP LLC, still would have to come back to the planning commission for review and approval of a final development plan in the future, said city spokesman Scott McAfee.
Dwyer created TFTFP LLC in December 2017, according to company’s filing documents with the Ohio Secretary of State’s Office.
McAfee said the rezoning application was slated to be heard Wednesday, Jan. 15, by the Rocky Fork Blacklick Accord Implementation Panel.
“The accord was adopted in 1997 as a multijurisdictional land-use and development policy guide covering portions of Columbus, New Albany and Plain Township,” according to columbus.gov. “The panel reviews development proposals (primarily zoning applications) for compliance with the accord plan and provides a nonbinding recommendation to the community with jurisdiction over the case.”
The planning commission is slated to review the application at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 22, at New Albany Village Hall, McAfee said.
The business group is in contract to purchase the property from the Lions Club, Underhill said. The schedule for that purchase is dependent upon gaining approval for the final development plan, he said.
Underhill said he hopes to have the final development plan ready for the planning commission in the next four to five months.
New Albany City Council will have to review the zoning proposal, he said, but it will not have to approve the final development plan.