By Shereen Siewert
The owners of Urban Street Bistro, a popular Wausau food truck, could open a 99-seat full-service restaurant on Wausau’s riverfront as soon as 2018, if city officials approve the plan.
Clinton Schultz, co-owner of Urban Street Bistro, submitted the plan Feb. 28 in response to the city’s request for proposals to redevelop two adjacent properties formerly occupied by Westside Battery and L&S Printing. The food truck and catering service is entering its fifth year in the Wausau area, with four full-time and several part-time employees.
“The next logical expansion to satisfy the customer base is the establishment of a brick-and-mortar restaurant,” Schultz wrote in his proposal. “We believe the West Side Battery building is the perfect location and the style we are looking for.”
The proposed restaurant and bar would be open six days a week and feature live music on the weekends. Schultz said the building would also house the Wausau Winter Farmers Market on Saturday mornings until a permanent home is found. The design calls for using the current Westside Battery building, adding a landscaped parking area and an outside river view dining patio and greenhouse, according to the proposal. A new insulated roof, solar hot water heater, LED lighting, high efficiency HVAC and interior framing and insulation is planned, with Gaffney Construction overseeing the project.
Urban Bistro would buy the properties from the city for $225,000 and spend between $550,000 and $600,000 on the project. The estimated taxable value of the property after completion is $600,000, according to the proposal. Schultz is seeking a $100,000 commercial rehabilitation loan from the city and $150,000 from MCDEVCO as part of the proposal.
Between 12 and 14 full-time and more than 30 part-time employees would be employed at the restaurant, Schultz said. The project is expected to take 12 months to complete.
Members of the joint finance and economic development committees are expected to discuss the proposal on Tuesday in closed session, according to the official notice and agenda. The project is also subject to full council approval.