By Luke Looie, email@example.com
5:18 PM EDT, March 12, 2013
Clyde's of Columbia will reopen in mid- to late-April, later than anticipated because of a few minor problems during renovations that began in January.
"If it takes a little more time, we want to get it done right the first time," said Clyde's General Manager Paul Kraft, whose restaurant has been at its downtown lakefront location since 1975.
Kraft said the project, which was announced in October, was scheduled to take six to eight weeks after the restaurant closed Jan. 7. But it fell behind schedule during demolition after it was discovered the bar needed additional renovations.
"We've redone the whole back bar and rebuilt the lower part of the bar with custom woodwork," Kraft said. "It's not something that was originally anticipated."
The extra work increased the cost of the renovations from $4 million to approximately $5 million, according to Kraft.
Kraft said Clyde's, which has reconfigured the bar space, which he said wasn't ideal.
"One of the complaints is if you had six to eight people, it was hard to congregate," Kraft said.
To change that, Clyde's has removed the waiter service area from the far corner of the bar, making it a place that is more amenable to larger groups.
In addition to the bar renovations, the new Clyde's will be larger, as the restaurant will be expanded six feet closer toward Lake Kittamaqundi.
"It's going to be a warmer feel, a lot brighter and a lot more open," Kraft said.
Kraft said the restaurant will add 12 booths positioned in various parts of the restaurant, including inside the previous location of the omelet bar.
The renovations also include the expansion of the kitchen — which will allow for new menu items — and restrooms.
The Tomato Palace, which is owned by the same group and shares a restroom with Clyde's, will re-open the same time as Clyde's.
While Clyde's will look different when it reopens, it won't be completely devoid of it's old charm, Kraft said.
"We were able to keep some original elements of the bar, and we are going to be reusing the front doors, so people will see familiar pieces," Kraft said.