Two warehouses at NW 10 and Broadway along Automobile Alley, largely vacant for a quarter century, are set to come to life next year as home to an upscale restaurant and a neighborhood wine bar.
Aaron Soward, CEO of Provision Concepts, and Jeff Dixon, the chief financial officer of the new startup, say they hope to redefine the north gateway to Automobile Alley with Broadway 10 Bar and Chophouse and Sidecar wine bar.
When the pair set out to start their own restaurant, they targeted Broadway, with Dixon walking along the strip looking for the right available space. Midtown Renaissance Group, a partnership led by Bob Howard, had already bought the building at 1100 N Broadway, and it was set to be redeveloped into offices and retail.
The four-story, 60,000-square-foot building was originally home to a Buick dealership and includes a mezzanine with ornate cast iron stairway railing in the first floor.
“When they showed us this space, they were just showing us 4,000 square feet for the hard corner at 10th and Broadway,” Dixon said. “My partner and I looked at it and asked if we could try to bite off a bigger section. After some back and forth, we ended up taking the entire 8,000 square feet for the chophouse.”
Soward said the location was an easy pick for the pair — a new $110 million GE oil and gas research center is being built just to the east, high-end apartments are being opened in the renovated Marion Hotel to the south, and both Broadway and NW 10 are seeing an influx of retail and offices.
“Broadway is in need of more dining options,” Soward said. “The space was intimidating. But when you fall back on what you know, what you’ve been through, and what you know you are capable of doing, it made sense for us.”
Dixon said designs for the new restaurant were drawn up by Brian Fitzsimmons, an award-winning architect who has overseen several projects for Midtown Renaissance.
“The design is going to be unique,” Dixon said. “It’s tying in something new in an old space. The building has been here since the 1920s, it has an incredible history, and we are going to try to preserve that as much as we can. It’s going to be an open format and yet intimate steakhouse.”
The main dining area will front Broadway, while the mezzanine and space under the mezzanine will house four separate private dining areas.
“There is a lot of corporate business dinners downtown,” Dixon said. “Hotels downtown are at 100 percent occupancy, and that’s really good for restaurants like this.”
Sidecar, which will open to the east in the Pontiac Building at 1101 N Broadway, was conceived after the pair signed the lease for the chophouse space.
Dixon and Soward said they were recruited by the developers to open a second concept.
“Sidecar will be Automobile Alley’s neighborhood pub,” Dixon said. “The space sold itself. Again, it’s at NW 10 and Broadway with incredible traffic. It will be an awesome wine bar with crafted and draft beer.”
Dixon and Soward concede they have a lot of work ahead, but also believe their new venture will transform Automobile Alley.
“Aaron and I feel blessed to be young entrepreneurs and we think we’re taking a new spin on what we can contribute to the restaurant community and specifically Automobile Alley,” Dixon said.
“In two years, when you pull up to the light, you’ll have the advantage of having your car parked by a valet or park yourself in the garage being built next to the chophouse. There will be buzz, energy and excitement, where right now it’s fairly dead.”