CBID grants approvals to downtown cigar lounge, restaurant, and Garrison development

by Aric Mitchell (aric.mitchell@gmail.com) 1,510 views 

The Central Business Improvement District (CBID) on Tuesday (Nov. 21) approved three requests from downtown Fort Smith developers including architectural changes and construction at the 906 Lounge by Winstons slated to open in early 2018; the future Tate’s Blues and Boogie Bar/Restaurant; and additional facade improvements on the 901-911 Garrison Avenue project led by CBID commissioner Phil White.

The 906 Lounge by Winstons is the project of Sam and Susan Fiori. Neither was present at Tuesday’s meeting, but agent Ret Taylor of Childers Architecture presented proposed changes, which were approved unanimously by the commission.

With the approvals, the Fioris will remove a portion of the existing storefront and install decorative aluminum fencing to create an outdoor patio area. A new storefront will then be constructed 16 feet into the interior of the building. The existing curved awning also will be removed and a new awning will be built to match the straight awning that exists. This will create a “stitching of the two facades together under one awning,” Taylor said.

Lastly, the site will feature 60-inch address numbers painted onto the front facade, which will be repainted in a color scheme known as “Dorian Gray.” The wall of the building will be washed with LED lights that can change color with the season, Taylor said, explaining that “you could change as the seasons change: red and green during Christmas; for fall, we can do fall colors, or however we want to do it.”

Taylor described the 906 Lounge as a “cigar bar and social club,” noting it will feature 97 seats, an all-weather patio, and a “large, low-velocity/high-volume air fan” with “radiant floors and ceilings.”

“The patio is intended to be used at all times. The entirety of the bar will be on a raised floor, and it will have a displacement air system,” meaning the air will be removed from the building from its point of origin rather than being allowed to recycle.

“The goal is to be able to come in, have a cigar, have a drink, and leave the facility not smelling like you have been in a smoky bar.”

Taylor said Childers Architecture was “very confident” in the system.

“We have used it in a lot of other casinos that we have done for the Native Americans across the border. If you have been in a casino, you can usually tell. But we are upgrading the system here, and it has zero refurbished air, so when the air comes in, it doesn’t recirculate.”

Demolition of the interior is complete and part of the roof has been raised and replaced to help with HVAC needs, Taylor said, adding the Fioris are “very anxious” to get 906 Lounge open, and he expects with the approvals it will be ready to go in the first part of 2018.

The Tate’s Blues and Boogie Bar/Restaurant project will be similar to 906 Lounge in that owner Michael Hickman will demolish the storefront at 709 Rogers Ave. – next to the Core Public House – to install decorative wrought iron fencing and gate to create an outdoor patio area. Tate’s will be located at the current sites of 709 and its adjoining 703 Rogers Avenue buildings. A planned opening day has not been announced.

Also Tuesday, the CBID approved additional facade improvements on the 901-911 Garrison Avenue project led by CBID commissioner and General Pallets owner Phil White. White said in a previous interview with Talk Business & Politics he hoped to have “what you see from the street” finished by the end of the year with the entire project wrapped up by mid-2018. Link here for details on the 19,000-square feet project.

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