PARIS — After roughly 10 years of standing vacant, the old Paris Farmers Union building will once again bustle with activity when 21 Taps Wood Fired Pizza opens this spring.
The Paris Planning Board approved the site plan review for the new business located at 231 Main St. at the Tuesday, Aug. 22 meeting, according to Chairman Jim Hakala. The site plan was submitted by Jennifer and David Siegler of Norway and was approved 4-0 as member Henry Raymond wasn’t in attendance.
The Planning Board opted not to hold a site walk since members are familiar the old Paris Farmers Union building, Hakala said. They also opted to not hold a public hearing on the project “because I feel and the board felt that the public would be a go for it.”
“It’s going to be quite a place. … They’re going to take that place that looks like a gambrel and convert it into [a] restaurant [with] wood-fired pizza and pub sandwiches,” Hakala said about the main Paris Farmers Union building that sports a two-sided roof with one pitch shallower than the other. “They’re going to have a beer garden outside during the good months of the year. They’re going to have entertainment out there playing … mellow music, mood music, or something like that.”
In paperwork submitted to the Planning Board, the Sieglers wrote, “Lots of fun activities will happen in the beer garden including music, bocce ball or corn hole tournaments.”
Hakala was pleased the building will be used once again.
“It’s about time. That building has been vacant for the past 10 years and no takers,” Hakala said. “It’s finally getting something done [in] downtown so to speak.”
The Sieglers shared their plans for the 4,960-square-foot space they plan to develop into a full-service restaurant with 33 parking spaces.
“The name 21 Taps comes from the 21 beer lines we will have on draft,” the company’s description reads. “All 21 tap lines are dedicated to Maine made craft brews, some of which are not widely distributed and only available in limited batches.”
For those who aren’t into craft beer, there will be domestic bottled beers. The menu includes wood-fired pizza, prime rib on Friday and Saturday nights, salads and sandwiches and other featured entrees.
“Our guests can observe our pizza cook creating masterpieces in the wood fired oven, which we plan to build just outside of the kitchen with an observation area,” according to the paperwork. “Our pizza oven will be able to cook up to 6 pizzas at once time. The high heat from the wood burning allows us to cook a pizza in less than 4 minutes.”
The main dining room will seat 100 people, with spots for 80 patrons at 18 tables, along with 20 customers at the bar. The restaurant will also include eight big screen TVs streaming New England sports and the plan is to “host an incredible Superbowl party each year.”
In addition to the main dining room, there will be “the Garden Room,” which will be a lounge area just inside the main entrance. This space will feature plants and flowers, local art, bistro tables and “comfortable seating area for relaxing.” It will be used for a waiting room if there is a need and a space “for guests to enjoy at any time.”
The tentative time line includes beginning construction at the end of September and opening the restaurant in March 2018.
“They have a five-year lease on it and then if the business takes off, they’re looking to purchase the place,” Hakala said about the Sieglers.