HALLOWELL — Owners of a popular Hallowell restaurant and bar will present detailed expansion plans to the city’s Planning Board Wednesday.

Co-owners Chris Vallee, Steve Lachance and Larry Hunter described their plans for The Quarry Tap Room, located at 122 Water St., during last month’s meeting, but the board requested additional specific details and tabled the discussion until this month.

The owners of the bar and grill are proposing to build an approximately 22 feet by 22 feet addition to the existing structure which will house a new kitchen, according to plans filed with the city. There will also be a 12 feet by 6 feet cooler attached to the new kitchen. Lachance said restrooms will be moved to where the kitchen is currently located.

But the biggest change to the space will be an outdoor patio and landscaped area on the adjacent lot at 116 Water St., which the owners acquired for $155,000 last August from developer and real estate broker Terry Berry.

The plans call for a 1,920-square-foot lower open stone patio and a 1,440-square-foot upper open paver patio, plus a 311-square-foot covered patio on the upper level. Lachance told the Planning Board in March that he envisions three-season outdoor seating and that the additional seating requires a larger kitchen area.

New cable and steel railings with granite posts would enclose the new outdoor space, and Lachance envisions strings of lights through the trees.

Vallee, Lachance and Hunter did not want to speak about their plans until after the meeting, though Vallee said they are prepared to go to the Planning Board and hope it votes on their proposal Wednesday.

During last month’s meeting, several issues were raised during the public comment period. Planning Board member Jane Oberton said the “word on the street” was that the owners were planning to turn the outdoor space into a music venue, though Lachance said their focus was more on additional seating and not music. Oberton would not comment further last week, but said she expects more details on the plan for outdoor music at Wednesday’s meeting.

John and Janet Merrill own 110 Water St., and the two expressed their concern over outdoor music and its intrusion on neighboring tenants. John Merrill noted that because the proposed patio is between two brick structures, there would be a magnifying effect on the sound that would impact not only people on both sides of the space but also those across the street.

According to the Hallowell City Ordinance, noise levels in the business district cannot exceed 60 decibels between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. and 50 decibels between 9 p.m. and 7 a.m. According to webmd.com, normal conversation and background music average 60 decibels.

Lachance said there would only be outdoor music a few times per year, and John Merrill pointed out the Hallowell’s Rock on the River concert series — held each Tuesday evening in the summer — was carefully planned so the music doesn’t start until most downtown businesses are closed and ends early enough to not disturb residents.

Although Hallowell residents are talking about the plans, several people said last week they were reluctant to provide their opinion until seeing more specific details at Wednesday’s meeting.

“I am going to wait until the meeting to see the updated plans before I decide what my position is,” said Carolyn Manson, Row House president and a member of the city’s downtown development committee.

Leah Sampson, owner of Maine House, said everyone in Hallowell is curious about something new happening in the downtown area. She said her customers are definitely talking about it.

Interim City Manager Maureen AuCoin said the owners needed to provide door and window specifications, elevations to scale, lighting plans, drainage information, fencing and railing specifications, roof and foundation materials and plans, and retaining wall material and design in order for the Planning Board to review the application.

Planning Board Chairwoman Danielle Obery said if “the Quarry brings all the additional information and plans we requested, we should be able to vote on the proposal.”

The owners want their plan approved as soon as possible because they want the expansion to be completed in time for this year’s spring and summer season.

Before selling to The Quarry’s owners, Berry had big dreams of constructing a multi-use building on the property. He planned to have storefronts on the ground floor and condos on the floors above. The last structure to stand on that lot, the Verstein’s Furniture Co., burned in a massive fire in the late 1940s.

Most of the buildings in that part of downtown date to the 1800s and earlier, and Berry’s plan would have needed to be compatible with other buildings in the historic district. Berry declined to comment on the new plans for his former property.

The Planning Board meets at 7 p.m. Wednesday at City Hall.

Jason Pafundi — 621-5663

[email protected]

Twitter: @jasonpafundiKJ

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.