New art gallery, foodbusiness planned for Calhoun Street Promenade

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New art gallery, foodbusiness planned for Calhoun Street Promenade

By ANNE CHRISTNOVICH
achristnovich@islandpacket.com
Published Monday, February 6, 2012   |  372 Words  |  

Four wooden stakes and some string mark the spot next to Captain Woody's Bar & Grill where a new cafe-style art gallery will rise in the coming months.

The newest addition to the Calhoun Street Promenade will be two buildings wedged between Captain Woody's and Bluffton BBQ -- one a main gallery, the other an annex.

"Basically, we're ready to start construction," project architect Mike Vaccaro said. Property owner Bill Herbkersman said they only need to apply for a building permit and plan start breaking ground within a couple weeks. Apex Land and Development will construct the buidlings. Herbkersman is CEO of the company.

Herbkersman said he knows a vendor who probably will lease the building, but declined to say who it is. He said an announcement will be made soon.

He also said both buildings will serve food and beverages, including alcohol. He described it as 80 percent art, 20 percent food service.

The main gallery will resemble a barn with a short, fat steeple on top; the annex will be slightly taller and thinner and have more of a "vintage tavern" feel, Herbkersman said. In nice weather, windows would slide or be swung up to open the walls.

"It's going to be a community gathering place," he said.

The exterior of both buildings likely will match Captain Woody's and Bluffton BBQ, with horizontal wood paneling and metal roofs, according to submitted designs.

Vaccaro, Herbkersman and Promenade Realtor Sheree Binder all chatted with enthusiasm after a Historical Preservation Committee meeting Wednesday. The buildings were evaluated by the panel, and only minor design tweaks were suggested. The trio said the changes could be made easily. Binder said the design and vision for the gallery reminds her of Winter Park, Fla., where she used to live.

The galleries will house artwork such as corregated metal sculptures, Herbkersman said. Vaccaro finished the thought by adding works would have a "functional eclectic" feel.

"They're flexible spaces," Vaccaro said. "They'll evolve as the use does."

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