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Not so fast on The Inked Pig’s expansion plans. Here’s why
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The Inked Pig plans to expand its restaurant into the building next door. - photo by Scott Rogers

The Inked Pig’s plans to add seating and usher in a full bar and lounge hit a bump on Monday, May 3.

Heyward Hosch, who used to own the historic building where the improvements are planned, expressed some concerns about the project.

“I don’t have a problem with the use and design, but I feel like it could lose its landmark designation because it changes the nature of the buildings by combining them,” he said, speaking to the Gainesville Historic Preservation Commission.

Co-owners Andrew Elliott and Jimmy Ellis have plans to lease the building next door and connect it to their Gainesville barbecue restaurant at 893 Main St. The expansion would double the customer capacity to 120 and create the opportunity for a full bar and lounge space.

Jessica Tullar, the city’s housing and special projects manager, said the designation “would not go away with a building modification.”

Still, the commission voted to put off a vote until June 7 on The Inked Pig’s request for a certificate of appropriateness, which would allow certain changes to a historic structure.

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Elliott told the commission he had “several conversations” with Hosch over the past couple of months “about making all of this happen, and was given the go-ahead to start the paperwork with the historical (commission),” he said. “That’s the impression that we were under.”

The delay in the vote “allows time for you guys to get back together to discuss moving forward,” Tullar said.

Elliott has talked about big plans for his business.

“We’re wanting to feature high-end craft cocktails and high-end bourbons, scotches and whiskey,” he said. 

The next-door building is currently being leased by a private membership club. The Inked Pig owners said they hope to be able to start occupying it in June, with the goal of opening the expanded area in late August to early September.

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