Quigley’s awaits construction permits

Major construction on the vacant Quigley’s building at 21st and G Streets, which was set to reopen as the TONIC restaurant by January 2007, has been delayed by four months. The restaurant’s opening date could be missed if there are further delays.

GW still expects to open the restaurant by the target date, but “the schedule is getting tighter,” Executive Vice President and Treasurer Louis Katz said last week.

“We anticipate that we will get the construction permits any time now,” Katz said. “If it runs another month, it will put the schedule at risk.”

Katz explained that the parties are still awaiting approval for construction permits from the city before they can break ground on the project. He said there is nothing particular that is holding up the approval, and the city’s review process for the permits is just taking longer than expected.

“A thousand issues go along with getting a construction permit approved,” Katz said. “There’s nothing that’s a showstopper in there. It just needs to get done.”

In late November, GW announced that it had selected TONIC, an American-style bistro, to fill the vacant Quigley’s building. Jeremy Pollok, a GW alumnus and one of TONIC’s owners, said delays were anticipated for the project and were taken into consideration when determining the approximate opening date of January 2007.

“Delays like this are always expected, and GW has been very cooperative,” he said.

Pollok added that when he and his partners were constructing their other TONIC restaurant, located in Mount Pleasant in Northwest D.C., they had to wait for about three months for road signs to be cleared by the city.

The contractors have already begun the interior demolition of the building – which includes replacing the plumbing and electrical systems as well as interior walls – because those permits have already been obtained, Katz said.

Pollok said he and his team are setting up to start construction as soon as the permits are obtained and when GW finishes some of the interior work.

The building will be converted into a multi-story restaurant and will include a bar. The original outside architecture of the building will be preserved, and the first two floors of the building will contain the restaurant. The third floor will possibly be reserved for catering or private events.

Pollok said “It might be held for students to study or for meetings over a cup of coffee. It’s not decided yet.” n

-Katie Rooney contributed to this report.

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