Nolan, the owner of popular Springs restaurants Southside Johnny’s and Johnny’s Navajo Hogan, closed on the 106-year-old, two-story structure at 817 W. Colorado Ave. Feb. 5. He paid $340,000.
Since its days as a Colorado Springs Fire Department installation, the 3,200-square-foot building has seen various tenants. It has been a sports bar, fine dining restaurant, a barbecue joint and, most recently, the Upper Room coffee shop. This time, Nolan said he plans to transform the space into a tap house offering more than 30 beers, and he plans to serve New York-style pizza and broasted chicken.
Nolan said his new business “should be ready to go by May,” following some renovations. When complete, Nolan said he will utilize both floors of the business. The first floor “will be more dinnerish,” while the second will “be a little more lively.”
Nolan said most of the work will consist of changing the layout of the building and correcting botched construction jobs by former tenants.
“Mechanically, it is in pretty good shape, but the layout hadn’t been done very well,” he said. “We’re going to spend a decent amount [on renovations].”
Nolan plans for the interior to sport an industrial aesthetic featuring flourishes of wood and metal, and said he will highlight the building’s exposed red brick. He said he also plans to incorporate the building’s history as a firehouse with the restaurant’s theme.
The 22,500-square-foot parcel of land also includes a decently sized parking lot to the west of the building and a small, grassy lot to the east that had previously been used for outdoor seating.
Nolan said he hasn’t yet chosen a name for the new establishment.