Sirloin Saloon demolition OK'd, but new design required first

MANCHESTER- The Development Review Board heard a presentation Wednesday, Oct. 10, from representatives of the owners of the Sirloin Saloon, a now-shuttered but well -known local restaurant, to demolish and replace it with a new structure.

The board approved the application for the building's demolition, but stipulated the owners - Vanderbilt Equities Corp. - may not take it down until a design for a new building is approved. That new design is expected to be presented to the board at its next meeting on Oct. 24.

Craig Hunter, Vanderbilt's property manager, gave the board an indication of the safety concerns of the structure and why the building must be demolished.

"It's just not an efficient building, it is not a structurally sound building, and it is not an ADA code compliant building," he said.

ADA refers the American with Disabilities Act. Right now the current building has no access for wheelchairs or other forms of aided movement, Hunter said.

A current design for a new building is already underway that involves floor plans and site sketches. Right now, the building is planned to be two stories high and slightly larger than the existing building.

The proposed use of the building was also discussed.

"We would love to find a restaurant to take part of it and we are working on that," said Hunter. "The restaurant business is pretty tough these days, but we are looking into it."

Along with the restaurant, one idea for the new building is to have it as a mixed-use building with other ideas being floated around such as a plaza where people would be able to congregate and relax.

The project could get underway soon assuming permits at the state and federal level fall into place.

"A timetable for construction is we hope to start by the spring of 2013. The demolition would be prior to that, at the soonest the middle of November, but it would be prudent to wait for approval of the proposed new building," Hunter said.

Those involved in the project understand the significance of the old building and the role it has played in the Manchester community for decades.

"We are sad to come to you and ask to take down something that has been a part of the town for so many years and it's something that people have so many good memories of," said Hunter, "but we've looked at it from every different angle and can't find any reasonable way to keep the structure the way it is and continue this operation in a positive cash flow way."

The Sirloin Saloon has been a local restaurant since 1969. Before that, it was a popular local entertainment venue known as The Five Flys. There will be an auction at the former restaurant, which is located on Depot Street a short distance from the intersection with Main Street on Monday, Oct. 15 at 10 a.m. The auction will include the former restaurants kitchen equipment, decorative items, and tables and chairs along with other items.

The auction will be run by Nathan Auction & Real Estate Inc., of Manchester.


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