WILMINGTON -- There is a lot to do inside and outside of 20 West Main St., the building where Fennessy's used to be.
"We're really excited," said its new owner Isabelle Alvarado after discussing retail uses and the need to replace the roof with the Development Review Board.
On Jan. 20, the board heard testimony regarding the building, where approval for restoration and construction of an attached deck was also sought.
Although, the applicants will be back with more documentation and materials to apply for permits dealing with historic review district review, exterior uses and flood review, the board will write its decision on the additional use of retail as well as the roof of the building. It is believed that the roof will need immediate attention.
"The roof is gone. The inspector said it's unsalvageable," said Alvarado.
The remaining issues will be brought to the board at a future hearing.
Development Review Board Chairwoman Nicki Steel said the board could not approve the historic review portion of the application without more information about the windows and doors that Alvarado plans to install.
"We just wanted to open it up," she said. "This building has been neglected for the last two years."
Steel had been a waitress when it had been previously open. She was familiar with the different sections. But according to Alvarado, there currently are no sections due to the impact of flooding from Tropical Storm Irene.
"Right now, it's just one big room. The bar is gone and most of the walls damaged in the flood were removed," she said. "There was nothing in the building when we purchased it. We're talking bare bones."
Offering food products made in Vermont has been among her initial thoughts while planning for opening the space for business. "Something upscale" but "not just geared towards tourists" was how the venture was briefly described.
Another idea mentioned included setting up a community gathering area where special events or children's birthdays could be hosted. Waiting service would not be offered in any section.
Alvarado's daughter is going to assist with a business plan within the next few months.
"We're very interested in working with the community. We have lots of ideas," said Alvarado.
She had spoke with the Health Department about seating, which she wants to offer customers on the back deck too. Steel recommended looking into town water and sewer allocation as it relates to seating limits.
"I believe all your uses are fine. You would certainly come in under restaurant, which is already in retail business," said Steel.
While conducting research, Alvarado had heard that the building used to be a flop house in the 1940s. None of the board members could confirm whether it was true.
Chris Mays can be reached at 802-254-2311, ext. 273, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Chris on Twitter @CMaysReformer.