Retro-style barbecue restaurant proposed for downtown Ormond Beach
Ormond Beach may soon have a new restaurant in its downtown, as plans for a retro joint will reach the city's Planning Board on Thursday, Aug. 9, to approve a special exemption request to demolish the existing blighted structure.
Local developer Bill Jones of Highland Corp. is hoping to tear down what remains of the old gas station located at 100 W. Granada Blvd. to construct "The Pumphouse," a barbecue restaurant that will pay homage to the lot's previous use. Renderings for the proposed project show an art deco style casual restaurant, similar to the Sinclair gas stations in California during the 1950s, said Ormond MainStreet Executive Director Julia Truilo.
She said if approved, The Pumphouse will fulfill a need in the city's downtown to provide quick, casual and affordable eats. As it will be a walk-up restaurant, with tables outdoors, she said it will help to draw more foot traffic to the downtown area.
Based on a survey Ormond MainStreet conducted last summer, an estimated 3,000 people work or live within the city's downtown district, she said.
“That’s a lot of quick lunches and a lot of picking up barbecue on the way home," Truilo said.
The site has been vacant for as long as Planning Board Steven Spraker has worked with the city, and he said the redevelopment project is a positive move for Ormond. There was concern with the project not meeting the city's Downtown Overlay District form-based code (which strives for all new development to be at least two stories high and to move buildings closer to the street) but with the limited lot depth, Spraker said this is the best design the developer could come up with. The Ormond Beach MainStreet Design Committee also support the special exemption.
“The fact that there’s an investment into the building is great,” Spraker said.
The special exemption would allow the developer to go against the city's form-based code and not build the new structure close to the street. The restaurant will only have two parking spaces, but people will be able to use the city's public parking lot in front of Ormond Beach Elementary.
Dorian Burt, the authorized agent on behalf of Highland Corp., said they are hopeful the project will be successful.
“We’re very excited as Mr. Jones continues to bring new and exciting adventures to downtown," Burt said.