UPDATED: Long-delayed move of new downtown Hall’s Restaurant hits another snag, but finally finds new home
Already months behind schedule, the 123-year-old building set to be a new downtown Hall’s restaurant began the move to its permanent location Tuesday — only to be delayed again when it snagged an electric line.
The Cambray Building was moved from its original spot at 312 S. Harrison St. to an adjacent parking lot more than a year ago to make room for the city’s riverfront project, and was supposed to have been relocated to a former Allen County government parking lot at Superior and Harrison streets by last August. The unexpected discovery of underground power lines forced a postponement, however, and overhead power lines created another but more temporary delay Tuesday.
Indiana & Michigan Power Co. was called and workers eventually cleared the project to proceed. I&M spokesman Tracy Warner said the lines had been deactivated and elevated prior to the move and that the snagged line was a temporary grounding wire.
The underground lines ultimately cost about $95,000 to move, with the County Commissioners paying about $67,000 and the Halls the rest. The city will then reimburse the county with taxes generated by the new restaurant.
As The News-Sentinel first reported in 2017, the building that was originally the E.M. Baltes building-supply company was slated for demolition. But restaurant executive Bud Hall thought it deserved a better fate.
“It will be a challenge, but with the building’s architecture I wanted to save it even though I didn’t know what I would do with it,” he told The News-Sentinel last year. Hall plans to accentuate the interior’s exposed brick walls and heavy wooden beams, and the original windows will be kept but upgraded. A planned elevated deck will offer a unique view of the soon-to-be developed riverfront.
“It will be an American grill, with a bar and restaurant. The ceilings are high and (from the upper level) you’ll be able to see the riverfront.” Hall said he’ll try to avoid competing with Hall’s Gas House just down the street by concentrating on “lighter fare.”
At a press conference at the site after the building had been freed from the wires, Mayor Tom Henry praised the project, saying it will help highlight improvements to the riverfront.
Hall said he was uncertain when the new restaurant will open.