Design plan temporarily tabled for Richfield bar expansion
Panel concerned over a portion of exterior design

By Joe VanDeLaarschot

June 16, 2019

 Expansion and remodeling are underway at the Pleasant Hill Bar and Grill at the intersection of Highway 64 and Pleasant Hill Road in Richfield. This file photo shows recent progress as of May 10 on raising the elevation by adding several truck loads of fill for a planned parking lot addition.
Joe VanDeLaarschot/Daily News Staff

RICHFIELD — A design plan for a major expansion and renovation of the Pleasant Hill Bar and Grill has been temporarily placed on hold after the village’s Architectural Review Committee tabled the proposal at their meeting Wednesday night due to concern about a portion of the exterior design.

The bar, formerly known as the Hairy Lemon, is now owned by Pleasant Hill Management, which is owned by John Loosen and is located at 2102 Highway 164. In September, Loosen received approval of the new business’s plan of operation from the Plan Commission.

A home that once stood on the property to the north was demolished to make room for an expanded building and parking. The east side of the property had a very steep drop-off so truck loads of fill were being added to that end of the lot to prepare additional parking slots. It will be a 75-car parking lot. Village Administrator Jim Healy said once the added parking space is completed the village will put up “no parking” signs along Pleasant Hill Road and Highway 164 at the intersection.

“His plan calls for an expansion that will nearly double the size of the current building, using the ordinance adopted by the Village Board several years back to allow for expansion of legal, non-conforming buildings,” said Village Administrator Jim Healy. “We’re very close to final approval. I think I heard at least two times from two different board members that they could go either way on it.”

Healy said the board asked Loosen to go back and take a look at potentially adding a gabled peak on the west elevation of the building which will face Highway 164 and what that does to the massing of the building.

“He already adjusted the gable peak on the north end of the building so it kind of matches the architecture of the existing building,” Healy said. “The Architectural Review Board I think in both cases was trying to find ways to improve the architectural design of the building while not adding a lot of cost.”

The design will be reviewed again at the Architectural Review Board’s next meeting on July 17. Healy said the building has existed for a very long time, it presently does not comply with setbacks and is very close to the road, both Pleasant Hill and Highway 164.

“So the fact that the state is cheating the road over approximately 30 feet to the west (in the current Highway 164 improvement project will help. Parking there has historically been an issue,” Healy said.

Healy said the property currently has an access point on Highway 164, but Pleasant Hill Management has worked with the state Department of Transportation to modify his access point 400 feet from the intersection of Pleasant Hill Road and Highway 164 for safety purposes.