8/25/2016 – Restaurant’s renovations of downtown Lenoir building progressing

Posted on: August 25th, 2016 by admin

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August 25, 2016

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Work to renovate a historic building in downtown Lenoir, including giving it a partially new facade, is on track for a restaurant to open there, two people within the business said.

 

Chef Nathaniel Negley of Bella Torte Bistro and Bakery, which had operated at the corner of Main Street and West Avenue, said the renovations are being quickly finished for the restaurant to move into the 103-year-old building at the southeast corner of West Avenue and Church Street – a site formerly known as The Alibi.

 

“It’s one of those situations where everything’s just coming together at one,” he said.

 

The work includes new lighting and flooring, and a recessed first-floor facade, which will allow for patio dining just off the sidewalk.

 

The Caldwell County Economic Development Commission assisted the restaurant in obtaining a $49,250 North Carolina Department of Commerce grant to offset some of the costs of the renovation project.

 

Along with the move, a new pub will be opened downstairs as Charlie’s Pub and will have a tap system with 10 beers on draft and several televisions for viewing sports.

 

The main floor will house the bistro, and the top floor will be used as an event space. The top floor features a fireplace and will be able to hold around 65 people, Negley said.

 

The top floor also is partially used for a photography studio operated by Carla Corriher, whose sister, Amanda Ingles, is the owner of Bella Torte.

 

“It’s something totally different that Lenoir doesn’t have,” Corriher said, adding that the building will have an “upscale, Asheville” look.

 

The pub will have a more British pub feel, while the main floor will have a more rustic look, featuring barn wood furniture, and the top floor will have a more elegant look.

 

The restaurant also will have new menu items, focusing on a French-influenced, American-casual blend, and the pub will have a theme of British pub and American bar food, Negley said.

 

“I’m excited. I’m looking forward to it. It’s always fun to get into a new kitchen and stretch a little bit of creative muscle with some of the new menu items,” Negley said.

 

Construction on the building began around two months ago after the restaurant received approval for the state grant. The building has been vacant for two years since The Alibi closed.

 

By Briana Adhikusuma, (Lenoir) News-Topic

 

 

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