BERLIN – A downtown commercial building will be getting a facelift following approval from the town’s historic district commission.
On Wednesday, the Berlin Historic District Commission approved exterior renovations, a new door and signage at what will soon be the Berlin Butcher Shop. Lisa Hall, a town council member and proprietor of the soon-to-be butcher shop, said she was making necessary improvements to the building at 101 William St. now but that she planned to do additional work later this year.
“You can’t put lipstick on a pig,” Hall said.
For now, Hall will be painting the portion of the building that’s not brick.
“I think the green looks horrible,” she said.
She will be working with the business adjacent to her space so that the entire building can be painted.
“It’s all mismatched,” she said. “I want the whole building to look the same.”
She said she wasn’t sure what color paint she’d be using but that she wanted it to complement the brick that ran around the edge of the building.
Carol Rose, chair of the commission, suggested she use something that fit in with the town.
“We don’t tell you what color we just ask that you think about it,” she said.
As far as signage for the shop, Hall said she wanted to get a vinyl wrap featuring the name of her business to cover the existing Rainbow Florist sign. She said it was a matte vinyl material that would be sepia tinted.
“I want it all to blend and look nice,” she said.
She added that she would eventually want to light the sign. Rose told her she’d have to return to the commission to receive approval for that in the future.
When asked for details about the shop itself, which is set to open in late July, Hall said it would be a full service butcher shop. Hall said she’d hired a butcher who formerly worked at Food Lion. Before that, he worked in his family’s Brooklyn butcher shop.
“My butcher is fourth generation,” Hall said.
She said that in addition to what he learned growing up in his grandparents’ shop, he was familiar with what local people wanted after working at Food Lion.
“He knows our market,” she said.
Hall said the shop would feature grass fed, organic meat as well as some cheeses. She will be selling to both individuals as well as businesses.
“I have 10 restaurants already that plan on buying meat,” she said.
In addition to approving Hall’s plans Wednesday, the commission also gave two residents approval for improvements to be made at their homes. Plans for a picket fence at 26 Broad St. were approved along with plans for fresh paint and new windows at 103 S. Main St. The commission approved the new windows in spite of concerns voiced by member Robert Poli. He referenced the portion of the town code that said the commission should be strict when considering changes to homes deemed to be of historic significance.
“I don’t want precedence to be set,” he said.
Rose said it had already been set. She also pointed out that the windows the homeowner wanted to replace were from the 1960s.
“What she’s replacing are not the original 1900 wood windows,” she said.
Commission member Laura Stearns spoke in favor of the changes proposed by the applicant. She added that she didn’t have a problem with vinyl windows as long as passersby couldn’t tell they were vinyl.
“I think it’ll look great,” she said. “I have a historic home and I have vinyl windows.”