- Melissa Pasanen
- Jonathan Maguire in front of 2760 Spear Street in Charlotte
A prominent white-clapboard house on the corner of Spear Street and Hinesburg Road in Charlotte is being renovated to become a 50-seat restaurant by summer 2023, said Jonathan Maguire, the building's owner and a developer. He plans to complete about 80 percent of the restaurant fit-up but leave finishing touches to a still-undetermined restaurant operator.
Maguire, 49, and his family spend summers on the lake in Charlotte. "Everyone in Charlotte wants another place to go with classy, good food," he said.
He envisions the restaurant being similar to the Tillerman in Bristol and the former Kitchen Table Bistro in Richmond — which will become Vermont Fine this fall, Seven Days reported last week. Both occupy historic buildings with dining and bar areas spread among several rooms.
Maguire knows the restaurant business firsthand; while attending the University of Vermont in the early 1990s, he worked as a cook at Sweetwaters on Church Street. (Read the recent news about Sweetwaters closing .)
But, Maguire said, he has no intention of being a hands-on restaurant operator. "My days behind the line are done," he said with a chuckle.
Maguire's design/build/development company, ATD, has undertaken the major renovation of the building and property. He said he purchased the historic house, barn and 15 acres for about $625,000 this spring. Site work will include adding a new septic system and parking, which he plans to share with the neighboring Charlotte Grange.
Constructed in the early 1800s, the building at 2760 Spear Street was most recently a private residence. On a recent tour, Maguire showed off the wide floorboards and rough-hewn beams in the front corner room. "There will be a big fireplace here where people can hang out in front of a big hearth and have a libation," he said.
"You know, 150 years ago, East Charlotte village was hopping," Maguire said, noting that Spear Street was the major horse carriage route from Burlington to Middlebury. Records indicate the building operated briefly as a tavern.
"I'm working on a historic reset there with this project," he said.