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Recipe begins renovation process

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City commission, staff sign off on plans for remodel and addition

More than eight months after Recipe: A Neighborhood Kitchen was shut down by a fire, owners of the downtown restaurant are on the way toward repairing and renovating the historic building at 115 N. Washington St. GARY ALLEN - Downtown restaurant Recipe: A Neighbor­hood Kitchen got approval from the city's Historic Preservation Commission last week on a plan to renovate the interior of Victorian house at 115 N. Wash­ington St. and repair interior damage caused by a fire last summer. The plan includes adding a ramp, enlarging the kitchen, bringing bathrooms indoors and consolidating several additions to the building into one structure.

The owners of the business got approval from Newberg's Historic Preservation Commission last week for work that, in addition to addressing the fire damage, will widen the kitchen, install a ramp and bring the restaurant's restrooms inside the main building.

"As upset as I was about having a fire in the building, I see it as a really good opportunity to help actually make the south end look better," said Loni Parrish at the commission's public hearing on the project Feb. 28. Parrish is the owner of the building, while Paul Bachand co-owns the business with Dustin Wyant.

The planned remodel of the old house had to be reviewed by city staff and approved by the Historic Preservation Commission, as the house is on the city's historic landmark list and falls under more particular rules.

Recipe, which opened in 2011, has been closed since June 25, when a fire broke out in the 1900 Victorian house between 3 and 4 a.m. There were no injuries as nobody was present in the building, but the fire caused substantial damage to the interior of the building.

Although the fire was mostly contained inside a wall, it traveled up through the walls damaging the attic and taking out part of the ceiling. Beyond that there was smoke and water damage.

Late last year, the business' owners opened Recipe Part Deux at 602 E. First St., a temporary pop-up restaurant in the former Market Barrel space meant to tide customers over until the main location reopens.

The smaller Part Deux space had to be remodeled to retool it from its prior retail use. Even then, it lacked a kitchen, and staff at the time expected to use induction burners (which generate heat through magnetic induction as opposed to flames) instead of a normal range stovetop.

At the commission's hearing last week, city Associate Planner Steve Olson summarized the fire and the owners' plans to renovate the building. He noted that the exterior of the main building will remain unchanged while the interior renovations, particularly the enhanced handicap-accessible bathroom and expanded kitchen will improve the restaurant's functionality.

Among the biggest changes ahead for the main location is a plan to consolidate several additions added over the years into a single addition, which Olson said "better complements the historic character of the building."

The commission approved the plan with the two staff-recommended conditions that any work stop if items of historic significance are found so an archaeologist can review them and that the owners make sure with other city departments that the property's grease interceptor and sidewalks pass muster.

It's unclear when the restaurant will be up and running again, but Recipe's website estimates this June while Parrish estimated in September.