Demolition on hold, bakery approved for historic district

by Sue Serdinak

April12 village zoning commission meeting

Two pre-Civil War buildings in the Richfield Historic District were the main topics of the Richfield Village Zoning Commission. Joe Butano, co-owner of Olesia’s Taverne of Richfield and the buildings immediately to the north and south of the Taverne, had asked for approval to raze the nearest building to the north. 

Butano explained that this structure, a house, and another residence to the north were originally one building operated as a cabinet-making business. They were separated and several additions were added to one building.

“With all of the [sub-standard] additions, it was taken out of the historical category,” Butano said. “Every board in the house and the entire front porch need to be replaced.”

Demolition would increase parking for the Taverne by only six to eight spaces because of the size of the parcel and landscape requirements.

Zoning Director Brian Frantz advised Butano on requirements for siding buildings in the historic district. Butano said he remodeled the house enough to accommodate two tenants. He withdrew his demolition request, saying he will continue to research the cost of renovating the building, and if it is cost-prohibitive he will reapply for a demolition permit.

French bakery approved

The two-story 1845 building to the south of the Taverne has a brighter future. Butano showed plans to renovate the building to house a bakery that would be open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily and would serve pan-fried foods, such as crepes and eggs and other French bakery items.  

Councilperson Sue Ann Philippbar asked Butano to consider selling gelato or other child favorites. “We need a place where children can go,” she said.

Butano said he understood the need. “The concept does not exclude that concept,” he said.  

He said the bakery would utilize Taverne parking when Olesia’s is closed and during slow times, and the bakery might be open later for events like cooking classes.

Frantz, zoning commission members and Mayor Michael Wheeler expressed the need to avoid overlap of operating hours because of a scarcity of parking in the historic district. Frantz said the zoning permit could define the allowable hours of operation.

Butano said the restaurant’s valet parking attendants do not use the village’s public parking near the historical society.

Commission member Bart Sauer said it is in a business owner’s best interest to avoid parking problems.

The commission approved the permit with the stipulation that only restaurant-related uses would be permitted. ∞