Firestone building to become a Lake Oswego restaurant
The building that formerly housed a Firestone tire shop on the corner of A Avenue and Fifth Street will soon be home to a restaurant — most likely a taproom, according to a development application filed by Lake Oswego residents Rob and Angela Moneyhan.
"The layout of it would work well for (a taproom), and we're lacking a casual, family-friendly tap room in the downtown Lake Oswego core," Rob Moneyhan told The Review this week. "I've got a lot of friends in the area with families who are hoping for someplace where we could meet with the kids and have a beer and some good food. That's kind of what started the whole thing."
The Moneyhans have renovated a number of buildings in the metro area, including a former auto repair shop in Portland's Ladd's Addition neighborhood that is now home to a coffee shop called Upper Left Roasters. The couple say they're hoping they can similarly transform the former Firestone building.
Plans include changing one of the two large garage doors into a storefront window and adding an outdoor patio space, as well as new landscaping, a fresh coat of exterior paint and a new canopy.
"My focus is to do an adaptive reuse, but try to maintain that old kind of automotive character," Rob Moneyhan said. "We want to reuse a building that people have been going by for over 50 years, versus tearing it down and having something with a different character."
An ADA-compliant parking space would be added to the property, along with a bike parking rack — one with greater capacity than what's required, Rob Moneyhan said, in order to encourage people to walk and bike in the downtown area.
The development application includes a floor plan that shows two bar counters and an added second restroom with ADA access. Some of the specifics about the interior design will be determined by the tenant who eventually rents the space, Rob Moneyhan said.
The name of the new business will also be determined by whoever ends up renting it and what they want to do with the space. The plans are drawn up with a taproom in mind, but the Moneyhans say they'd be open to considering other uses as well.
The Firestone shop closed down in the first half of 2017, and the Moneyhans purchased the property last fall. They submitted their development application to the City earlier this year, and the project was tentatively approved by City staff in June.
The application is currently in the appeal period, which ends July 9. Because the project is a minor development, it will not be reviewed by the Development Review Commission unless it is appealed.
The City has received a number of public comments on the project, primarily from nearby residents in the Evergreen and First Addition neighborhoods. According to Lake Oswego Senior Planner Johanna Hastay, most of the comments have been positive, and none so far have indicated that anyone plans to appeal the tentative approval.
Many of the comments offered support for the restaurant concept, calling it a better use of the space than a tire store. The property is at the outer edge of Lake Oswego's downtown core, and neighbors said they liked the idea of having a restaurant nearer to the west end of the district.
The Moneyhans are working with Koble Creative Architecture to draft the renovation plans. If all goes according to plan, Rob Moneyhan said, they hope to have the main renovation work completed by the end of the year.
"A tenant can do their improvements in, say, January to March, so it'll be open in the spring (of 2019)," he said.