Half Full work will begin in the fallOwners will not demolish current building
Lewes — Work on Half Full's new Second Street location will begin after Lewes' summer season.
The owners announced their plans at the city's Commercial Architectural Review Committee meeting March 21. They also abandoned their previous plans to demolish the building that last housed the Very European store.
City Building Official Henry Baynum said it is important to stall work until fall to avoid disruption of downtown business, including the original Half Full.
Owner Matt DiSabatino said planned changes to the existing building are designed to create a vibe similar to what patrons have grown accustomed to at the Market Street restaurant.
“In my opinion, that building is very Lewes,” he said. “I don't know how much more Lewes-like it could get. The windows, the trim and the way that building looks, we wanted to keep that and the feeling going with this new space because we're really trying to recreate the restaurant in a location.”
The panel approved Half Full's latest request to widen the front facade nearly three feet, enclose an outdoor stairway and add a second-floor deck. The deck would be used only for second-floor occupants, but would cover the outside dining area.
The committee's acceptance is contingent on approvals from other city agencies. DiSabatino and Jason Burris also own the property of neighboring restaurant Kindle and are seeking to realign the properties to eliminate an unusual property line. The planning commission will meet Wednesday, April 8.
Half Full was originally on the agenda for the March 6 architectural review committee meeting. The meeting was canceled due a lack of quorum, but the panel was set to consider the owners' request to demolish the existing building on Second Street.
Kay Carnahan, a member of the architectural review committee and planning commission, said she received several phone calls and emails from concerned citizens about the owners' original plans to raze the building. She commended DiSabatino and Burris for choosing to renovate instead.
DiSabatino previously stated Half Full will remain open in its current location while the new restaurant is under construction. The original Half Full is located at 113 W. Market St. behind King's Ice Cream.