Stable conditions

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 It’s true: What goes around, comes around. But, when it comes to 218 W. Market St., we’re talking restoration, not karma. 

Candace Smith and Brian Williams, local liaisons to The Livery Stable’s lead architect Allan Mellske, based in Chicago, say the owners won’t be changing everything with the renovation. On the back wall of the space, which was originally the exterior of the building before the add-on, there are painted “No parking” signs, which the owners intend to keep.

The building that houses places like Artful Lodger and Ananda Wellness Center will add The Livery Stable, a restaurant and bar, to its roster. Not without a few changes, though. Says Chicago architect Allan Mellske, the lead designer on the project, the Board of Architectural Review is set to assess the proposed alterations—like removal of the stucco façade and the addition of windows and a handicap entrance —this Tuesday, before John McIlhenny, the grandson of the building’s owner, can go forward with the plans. 

The building itself has already seen many changes. It began as a—uh, duh—livery stable in the early 1900s and later was leased to A&P Grocery before finally being converted to a strip mall, adding an extra triangular structure to the south end. It’s in the basement of that structure where the new pub will be located.

McIlhenny and his cousin, Ian Dugger, who will manage the restaurant, plan to keep the menu to an as yet undetermined 10-15 items. The project is still in the early stages—and in the BAR’s hands. The structure has been in McIlhenny’s family since the 19th century and local architect Candace Smith, a liaison for Mellske, thinks it’s “a no-brainer.” 

“[The renovation] takes it from a utilitarian space…to a place people want to hang out,” she says.

Rocktoberfest

With fall officially underway this week, we can count on one local spot to celebrate. Horse & Hound Gastropub knows how to ring in the season: with happy hour deals and a special menu. We can’t pronounce much of what’s on it, but it sounds tasty. We say go for the Rinderrouladen (beef rouladen filled with bacon, onions and pickles, pan-fried potatoes and red cabbage) with a side of Wiesnbrezn (large soft pretzel with grainy mustard). Enjoy the West Main Street spot’s special offerings until October 16. Plus: live music every Thursday and Saturday.

Taste tested

Between the Top of the Hops and Midtown Street Fair events a few weeks ago, Restaurantarama had a chance to stop into The Backyard, on Elliewood Avenue. We gorged on a fresh salad topped with salmon from Seafood at West Main. But, it’s the fixins’ that really impressed us. Crunchy-but-not-too-tough croutons, a side of perfectly crispy french fries sprinkled with—ready for this?—parmesan cheese. Plus, brown sugar pie for dessert. We hesitate to quote Rachael Ray, but yum-o!

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