A new wood-fired pizza restaurant and bar should be the first business in Lebanon’s $15.6 million downtown redevelopment project.
Catch-a-Fire Pizza announced plans Tuesday to offer full-service dining and an indoor-outdoor bar with craft beer, wine and craft cocktails at 511 N. Broadway.
The restaurant-bar is expected to anchor the commercial side of a development also to include 112 luxury townhomes on the former site of the city’s maintenance garage and adjoining property.
“Catch-a-Fire aims to provide a vibrant atmosphere that brings people together to enjoy artisan food, craft beer, boutique wines and live music on the patio in warmer months,” Melissa Ledford, who owns the business with her husband Jeff Ledford, said in a press release.
Two Cities Pizza and Cozy’s Cottage restaurant are no longer expected to open locations in the Lebanon redevelopment.
Catch-a-Fire Lebanon is expected to employ 50 people, the owners said. The restaurant will be open seven days a week for lunch and dinner and is projected to open in spring or summer 2021.
“We selected Lebanon for our next location because of the historic charm of its downtown. It represents a family-friendly, neighborhood atmosphere that we have always admired. We are excited to be a part of this special community,” Ledford said.
The Lebanon Catch-a-Fire location is to be similar to another new one opening this spring in Blue Ash. Catch-a-Fire currently operates from MadTree Brewing in Oakley, on the north side of Cincinnati.
The restaurants are to include a dining room, exhibition kitchen, patio area and bottle shop. The Lebanon location is also to offer a private party room.
“Lebanon is a great city and we are really looking forward to being a part of it. We have deep roots in Lebanon. My family is from Lebanon, and many of my relatives still live there, so we feel very connected,” Jeff Ledford said.
In October, the Warren County Port Authority voted to take ownership of the property in an incentive deal with developer Jim Cohen. North Broadway Apartments, a business set up by Cohen for the project, is expected to save $400,000 in sales tax on sales tax on materials for construction of the development.
The city has also agreed to develop a park on school property along Broadway, in front of the old school, as part of the deal. The road will be narrowed to make way for on-street parking in the area at city expense.
Also Lebanon City Council and the local school board approved a 15-year, 100-percent abatement on property taxes with Cohen’s company on the development.
Cohen’s principal partners are to be David Wolf and Robert Blatt, according to the tax abatement.
Cohen’s company and the city are to compensate the school district $30,000 to $80,000 a year for property tax lost through the abatement, according to an agreement approved by the school district.
In addition to an annual payment, the district is to receive additional money on a scale based on how many students from the development attend the district.
Construction is expected to begin in the next two months.