Charlotte Shepard, the native islander who opened the 122 Winslow restaurant in December 2008, has been considering relocating for several months.
The eatery had begun to outgrow its space at the northest corner of Winslow Way and North Madison Avenue, but it wasn’t until construction began a month ago right outside the door that the impetus reached another gear.
“We had been looking,” she said, “but I’ll admit that the construction helped pushed us up the street. We had a great 2010 after doing some remodeling, but business had slowed down.”
Still, the driving force was the need for a larger space and a less expensive lease.
Shepard and 122 Winslow manger Kimberly Geltmacher quickly decided to move a couple of blocks west to 241 Winslow Way after taking a look at the old Madoka restaurant building that had been empty for more than a year.
It is 500 square feet larger with a more open floor plan and comes with an outside deck. Plus, she said, the rent is half of what it was just for the privilege of being on the east side of North Madison.
“We’ll have the same food and family dining, but we’ll be able to do more evening entertainment with live music, a dance floor and a stage that’ll allow us to have comedy shows,” Geltmacher said.
The building also has an upstairs loft, which is large enough for a pool table and additional seating.
Geltmacher and Christopher Ortiz, who currently work in the front office of Bainbridge Performing Arts, will be the new owners and operators once the move occurs. Shepard will still be involved, but not as actively as she has been in the past.
Shepard said she hopes to open the new 122 on Memorial Day weekend, but that will depend on when the restaurant gets its liquor license from the state.