Lewiston’s Gallo Coal Fire Kitchen will be moving to the other end of Center Street next spring if the owner’s proposed development project at Fourth and Center streets gets approved by the village board.
The village planning board approved the development plan last week for an overhaul of the structure currently existing at 402 Center St. The plan would involve demolishing much of the covered area around the perimeter of the property and adding an addition to house the new Gallo location.
“Our existing location at 800 Center St., Gallo Coal Fire Kitchen, we’re going to move that concept, along with its menu, down to Fourth and Center,” said property owner Michael Hibbard. “We’re going to keep the existing location but with a new concept.”
He said he’s mulling over options for how to put the existing Gallo facility to use after the restaurant makes its move. Renovations at the Fourth and Center property are expected to begin in September, with an anticipated completion date of April or May 2020. Gallo Coal Fire Kitchen serves Italian cuisine and is most well-known for their coal-fired pizzas.
The new space would increase the seating accommodations in the restaurant from around 42 to 100, while adding a 100-seat second-floor banquet facility and what property owner Michael Hibbard called a “quick service concept” called Gallo Pronto, which will serve some grab-and-go items from the Gallo menu, like sandwiches.
Currently, Brewed and Bottled Craft Beer Shop and Sgt. Pepper’s Hot Sauces are the only tenants doing business at the 402 Center St. property. They will be staying on the premises, but will move into renovated spaces.
“The two concepts in the space as it stands, they’re both staying,” Hibbard said. “There’s also going to be a third (commercial space) and we’re negotiating something right now.”
While Hibbard said he was unable to disclose who the possible tenant is until their negotiations are complete, he said it is a “boutique” sort of business.
David Giusiana, a partner with Giusiana Architects, which is the firm handling the project, said that the existing businesses should be able to transition from their current set-up to their new set-ups pretty smoothly. The goal is to get the businesses moved without them needing to close at all, though he said at most they may have to close down for a couple of days.
Giusiana declined to disclose the cost of the project but said it was being financed privately without any public assistance.
Hibbard also said he’d like to utilize the outdoor portion of the property as an art gallery with exhibitions alternating periodically to showcase the works of both local and non-local artists. He said he hopes that in addition to being a commercial space, he hopes the finished development will serve as a public gathering place.