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August opening ahead for Rootstock & Vine

The iconic downtown Woodstock intersection at Main Street and Towne Lake Parkway is headed in the direction of some big changes.

Demolition of the Lester building and its mural is expected to begin this week to make way for expansion of the busy roadway and a new wine, tapas and dessert bar to open in August.

The owners of the proposed Rootstock & Vine and Vintner’s Rooftop have pushed their opening back to early- to mid-August.

Woodstock residents Sean Daily and his wife, Anna, are teaming up with local business owners Kevin Kino and Vince Monroe for the creation of Rootstock & Vine and Vintner’s Rooftop, planned for the old Hot Dog Heaven building.

Kino and Monroe own and manage the Gifted Ferret in Woodstock, a boutique style retail store, specializing in Artisan wine sales and unique gifts.

“If you have driven by, you will notice it is still its former self. We have gotten into the building, started digging out the back, pouring the footers and started on the walls for the expansion,” Sean Daily said. “The city has finally started the demolition of the Lester building next door, so by this time next week, that should be an empty lot. We are moving along … at a slower pace than we wanted to since the weather has held us up a few days.”

Woodstock City Manager Jeff Moon said exterior demolition on the Lester building, 8560 Main St. in downtown Woodstock, is set for Tuesday. The city bought the building in 2009 for the purpose of demolishing it for the Arnold Mill Road/Town Lake Parkway widening project.

“They are already doing interior demo on the building,” Moon said. “According to the contractor, he will be working on the exterior wall Tuesday. Weather may cause that to change.”

A new mural will be painted on the side wall of the Woodstock Pharmacy downtown, a building that has been in the city for 100 years, to replace the one being lost in the demolition.

Daily said he is “chomping at the bit” to begin serving the community.

“I am looking forward to getting this opened and providing Woodstock with a new venue,” he said. “It is long overdue.”

The restaurant owners plan to build a rooftop dining area atop the Main Street structure built at the turn of the 20th century. Tim Vaccaro, the architect designing the building’s renovations, dated the structure as far back as 1900.

To preserve the original building and expand construction to the rear of the property, with high focus and priority on preserving the historical aspect, Daily said they have come up with fundraising efforts.

“We have had to come up with some extra finances, it is a 100-year-old building and needed a little extra work,” Daily said. “There was some stuff we couldn’t anticipate because we couldn’t see it until we started doing the demolition, so this is our way to be able to fund the restoration and make sure we can keep the historical aspects of the building intact.”

With the removal of the Lester Building that has housed the long-standing Woodstock mural, Rootstock and Vine will build a personalized oak wine stave wall high atop Vintner’s Rooftop, creating a new landmark for the community.

“A fun, little project we are doing during the construction … there is a utility area on the roof that has to have a screen wall between the deck where our patrons sit and where the utilities are — we are turning that screen wall into a wall built out of wine barrel staves,” he said. “We are really trying to make this building an icon. We decided to do a bit of a fundraiser for the project, so we are marketing those barrel stave to individuals, families and businesses. They can buy one that we will engrave with names, a favorite saying or anything they would like it to say and they will be a permanent part of the wall and this landmark.”

Daily said the fundraiser went active last week and has received a “great response” from the community.

“The community loves what we are doing and I have gotten nothing but positive feedback. This is just a little something to give back and help preserve the building — that is where the money goes back to,” he said. “It is a really neat project, there will be about 250 staves that will comprise that wall and you will be able to see it from the street. It will be a really nice addition to the overall look of the building.”

In addition to this fundraiser, they are also offering sponsorship plaques on barrel planters and resting benches outside the building. More information on sponsorship can be found at rootstockandvine.com.

Rootstock and Vine will offer a wide selection of wines, as well as desserts and small-plate tapas using locally sourced ingredients.

“We are going to put together some packages for people to make an order ahead of time and they will be able to come pick them up and take them across the street to the amphitheater and watch the concert,” he said. “They will come with everything: plastic-ware, bottle of wine and food … the whole nine yards as you watch the concert.”

The location will also feature a small retail component where customers can purchase bottles of wine. The rooftop bar, Vintner’s Rooftop, will overlook both the park and the amphitheater.

To follow the construction updates and details, visit their Facebook page under “Rootstock & Vine.”

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