The demolition of an historic Ormond Beach restaurant could begin around the first of the year, according to the project’s engineer.
The former Julian’s Dining Room & Lounge at 88 S. Atlantic Ave. will be torn down to make way for a beachwear shop after the City Commission granted final approval to the project Nov. 5.
Joe Hopkins, president of the Performance Group, a Daytona Beach civil engineering firm, said final state and county consent of the revised plans should take about 60 days, allowing for the demolition of the distinctive A-frame 1960s-era building followed by the construction of a new 8,596 square-foot retail store.
Pinchas “Pinny” Mamane, who also owns the Ocean Club beachwear shop at 712 S. Atlantic Ave., bought the Julian’s property from Stonewood Holdings about two years ago.
The commission voted 3-2 to approve the project with concessions.
Mr. Hopkins, who is overseeing the project, dropped the owner’s request for outdoor storage and display. But the commission agreed to waive a rear-yard masonry wall in favor of a six-foot vinyl fence and the reduction of a rear-yard landscape buffer from 30 to 15 feet in exchange for 23 to 24 additional parking spaces that could be shared by neighboring businesses.
“I’m not crazy about the deletion of the landscape buffer,” Commissioner Dwight Selby said. “But the fact that we picked up 23 parking spaces for free – the developer is going to build those parking spaces in the downtown where they are desperately needed -- I think that’s a fair trade-off."
Commissioners Susan Persis and Deputy Mayor Troy Kent voted against the project. They said they were not in favor of waiving the requirement for the wall and reducing the buffer.
Julian’s opened in 1967 and was a destination for locals and visiting celebrities alike until it closed for good in 2012.
Cuban immigrant Julian Lopez opened the restaurant and operated it with his family for nearly 40 years.
“I frequented it back in the day,” Mr. Hopkins said. “It was an icon for sure.”