After living in the Cully Neighborhood for 12 years, baker/contractor/entrepreneur Jeff Smalley has tackled remodeling the 3,000-square-foot, 1923 building that has housed the Wilshire Market for decades. Smalley told a general meeting of Beaumont-Wilshire neighbors in early June that he plans on opening Fire + Stone Restaurant sometime after Labor Day.
Smalley said he’s been a baker for the past quarter century. His eatery will rely on a wood-fired oven; and he will bake pizza and other items, such as pastries for morning customers and fresh bread customers can drop in and pick up. Included in the renovation are new bathrooms and new sidewalks. A diagonal wall at the on the building’s southwest corner will be the new restaurant front door, and the southeast corner door is planned for customers picking up take-out orders.
Smalley also plans to restore almost three dozen transom windows over the large display windows. From inside the gutted structure, the boarded-up smaller windows are visible along with several boarded-up windows on the west side of the building that will also be restored. Neighbors asked whether Smalley planned on preserving the northwest corner Padrow Pharmacy window. Smalley said he had not planned on that but would give it some thought.
“This is a loving neighborhood, and I want to be a good neighbor, helping businesses around me succeed instead of failing,” Smalley told the 50 or so neighbors. He said the large sign in the front of the building will be taken down and replaced with a Fire + Stone logo. He plans on being open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. weekdays and 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on the weekends.
In addition to the restaurant seating, Smalley plans on outdoor sidewalk cafe seating along Northeast Fremont and Alameda streets. He promised neighbors he would be as vigilant as possible to control customers and addressed parking concerns by affirming that he wants “to be a good neighbor through and through,” adding that he intends to be very responsive to comments from neighbors.