By Debbie Adams
The big topic of conversation in Vinton recently has been “What’s going on at the intersection of Pollard Street and Washington Avenue/Gus Nicks Boulevard?”
The answer—a new restaurant is preparing to open on the corner in the former location of the Star City Playhouse, which closed in 2019. Twin Creeks Brewing Company will be its next-door neighbor.
Demolition was clearly visible for the first time last week although work on the interior of the building has been underway for a while. In fact, planning for the new restaurant has been in the works since 2020.
Jonathan Pate is the new owner of the building and a partner in the new business which will be called “Pollard 107 South.” He is also an owner at Cast Plates and Pints in the Cave Spring area as well as at local Awful Arthur restaurants throughout the valley.
Pate says they have taken their time with the design plans and with the demolition. In fact, he has done some of the demolition work himself.
Lionberger Construction is the general contractor and working at top speed on the building, which has been completely gutted. The original wooden and steel ceiling beams are being retained giving the interior an industrial look. The walls will be a mixture of brick, brick veneer, and stone. There will be a bar, a pool table, high-topped tables, and a regular dining area.
The restaurant will front on Pollard Street with a 1000-sq.-ft. covered patio with glass garage doors to bring in the light. There will be more glass garage doors and another 1400-sq.-ft patio with wrought iron railing on the side of the building facing Gus Nicks Boulevard– with a fire pit.
Pate plans for the restaurant to open its doors in early 2023. The restaurant will be open 7 days a week from 11 a.m. to midnight for lunch and dinner. He says the restaurant will seat about 125-150 customers.
Pate is keeping the specifics of the menu to himself for except for the fact that Vintonites will no longer have to leave town to find a steak— he has three different steaks on the Pollard 107 South menu.
He estimates that about 30 full- and part-time workers will be employed.
Parking will not be an issue– spaces are plentiful and increasing in downtown Vinton. Some parking will be available just behind the building, as well as spaces at the Vinton Farmers’ Market, at RND Coffee, Vinton Baptist, along downtown streets, and—next spring—at the new downtown Vinton parking lot being built behind the Farmers’ Market (formerly McClung Lumber).
Pate says he chose Vinton as the site of his new venture because he loves “working with towns like Vinton who are clearly pro-business and eager to bring new retail, restaurants, and businesses to the area and truly make you feel appreciated.” He says working with Town Manager Pete Peters and Community Programs Director Chasity Barbour has been “awesome.”
Barbour sees Pollard 107 South as “another piece to the puzzle” of a reinvigorated downtown Vinton.
The building was previously owned by attorney Bruce Mayer. Over the years, it has been home to the Gus Nicks Furniture Store, Sam’s Variety Store, and an antique mall, before Star City Playhouse opened there in 2017. But this will be the first restaurant at this site at a very visible intersection in Vinton.
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