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Bill Freehling is a business writer for The Free Lance-Star and Fredericksburg.com. This blog is on Fredericksburg-area business. Send an e-mail to Bill Freehling.
Market, deli, German fare coming to William Street property
Denise Antinori plans to realize a childhood dream by opening a market, deli and German restaurant with an outdoor beer garden at a historic William Street building in downtown Fredericksburg.
Earlier this month Antinori bought the green-and-white building at 411-413 William St. from the estate of Elizabeth Cropp. The sales price was $375,000, said local Realtor Hunter Scott, who represented the seller.
Antinori plans an extensive renovation of the 19th-century building. She is now talking to architects and contractors and wants to start work within a couple of months. She is hoping to receive an Economic Development Authority grant to help clean up the building’s front — including giving the facade a more muted color — and is studying the federal tax credit program.
Antinori, who works in Northern Virginia, grew up in the Fredericksburg area. She bought a house within a few blocks of her new building a couple of years ago and started looking at properties where she could open a business.
Growing up, Antinori always thought it would be great to open a business in downtown Fredericksburg. She has noticed that people who live downtown prefer not to leave the immediate area when shopping or dining out.
Antinori is still finalizing her plans for the William Street property, which totals nearly 5,000 square feet, but she has some preliminary ideas about what she wants to do with it.
She plans to renovate the three-story front and open a gourmet market and lunch deli called Antinori’s on the first floor, which was the longtime home of Robert Weymouth’s custom upholstery shop. Weymouth has since moved the business to his Spotsylvania County home.
Antinori’s will have seating inside and outside and sell market items that complement the offerings of nearby stores. The second and third floors on the front part of the building will be renovated for apartment living.
Antinori is mulling tearing down the back part of the building, which was added later and would need more extensive work. She would then rebuild a two-story structure connecting to the front part of the building.
Antinori plans to open a German restaurant on the first floor of that back space called Deutschland Downtown. There would be a beer garden in the back and perhaps some parking off the adjacent alley. The second floor of the back structure could be used as another apartment, an office space or a private dining area for the German restaurant.
There would be a William Street entrance for all of the planned ventures and residences. The timing of the opening depends on how long construction lasts. Antinori has been working with local contractor Jay Holloway on a plan for the facade improvements and Virginia Partners Bank on financing.
Antinori knows that a lot of work lies ahead, but she was attracted to the space because of its location along a stretch of William that has seen ample investment in the past several years. She said her new building is the last remaining “eyesore” on that block, and she’s looking forward to changing that.