Developers of a bar and restaurant on West Main Street hope to open in a new student apartment complex by the time University of Virginia students return this fall.
However, the project faced a setback earlier this week when it came before the Charlottesville Board of Architectural Review.
World of Beer has selected the ground floor of one of West Main’s newest apartment complexes, the Flats at West Village. Currently under construction, the Flats will include 595 bedrooms and three commercial tenants. The Flats also plans to open this fall, in time to rent to returning students.
World of Beer has more than 60 locations across the country and offers a selection of more than 500 beers on site. An architect for the chain presented plans for an outside dining and music area to the board.
“World of Beer’s concept is really for all ages,” said David Behrens, project architect for World of Beer and principal at Greenberg Farrow. “We’re trying to create a relaxed culture.”
During the meeting, the board and the applicant realized two different site plans were being used, and one did not include all of the trees proposed for the site.
“There are some pretty major differences [on these plans],” responded board member Melanie Miller. “We should check with the [Flats at West Village] project to see what drawings and plans they’re working off of.”
World of Beer’s plans include outside seating, fencing to enclose the area, overhead coverage, fire tables and a raised platform for live music performances.
“You need to hold the developer’s feet to the fire,” said board member Michael Osteen. “[The Flats] ought to have representation at this meeting if they have someone here [in Charlottesville]. They need to come to the table and work something out that is appropriate for your restaurant.”
The developer wasn’t the only factor complicating World of Beer’s proposal.
“There is also confusion because the street is under a major revamp,” Miller said.
The city of Charlottesville has paid $340,000 to Rhodeside & Harwell to conduct multiple urban design studies along West Main. Recommendations made have the potential to significantly change the streetscape.
The board gave feedback on the design elements presented.
“That pergola seems architecturally awkward because the canopy is there,” said board member Tim Mohr. “I don’t think the pergola is critical to your program.”
“[The pergola] needs to be higher or lower than the canopy,” Osteen said.
Other items discussed included landscaping and the size of the stairs leading down to the restaurant from West Main.
“I don’t see a reason for the stairs to be so wide,” Mohr said. “The stairs seem huge.”
“I would like to see more trees,” Osteen said. “Maybe have three of the five suggested trees be bigger.”
Ultimately, the applicant requested and received a deferral. Behrens said he plans to work out the existing concerns and problems with the developer and return to the BAR at an upcoming meeting.
“There are a lot of moving parts moving fast,” Osteen said.
Violet Crown Cinema
The board also discussed the façade renovations for the new downtown Violet Crown Cinema, which is planning to open in time for the Virginia Film Festival in November.
The board approved programmable LED lighting for the facade, but further discussions are to take place to hash out the details of how the lighting system may be used.
“We could have a neighbor sign-off,” said Mike Stoneking, of Stoneking and von Storch Architects.
Programmable LED lighting would allow the owner to change the brightness of the lighting and the color of the lighting, a feature primarily for special-event usage.
“We could have a kit of colored lights for public approval,” Mohr said. “If we get it wrong, we’ll hear about it in the paper.”