Nesting doors have become a favorite architectural device for the combination of interior and exterior dining in downtown Rome.
The Historic Preservation Commission approved a facade plan with nesting doors for a building Wayne Robinson is renovating for a new restaurant at 241 Broad St.
Nesting doors, which slide to open, are already found at Dark Side of the Moon in the 200 block and Rome City Brewing Company in the 300 block.
The only issue that came up during Robinson’s hearing involved the two “Diana” shop logos that are embedded in tiles at the entrance to the building. Most members of the HPC wanted Robinson and his architect, Mark Cochran, to find a way to save the reminder of the building’s past.
Robinson said his plans were to cover it, since the sign would be off-center relative to the new entrance and the concrete in that area also needed to be leveled up.
“I hate for you to do that,” said member Mary Sib Banks. “What could you do to preserve that it was the Diana shop ... Just a plaque, something.”
Mandy Maloney, another member, wondered if the Diana signs could be removed and preserved somewhere else, perhaps on the walls.
“I need to go on record as saying I don’t love the idea of losing that, whether they’re in the center or not,” Maloney said.
Robinson said he felt like it would be difficult to remove the tiles without breaking them. But he offered to look at options.
“This is a unique building on Broad that is one of the few that has the ability to have a really nice outdoor eating area, which to me would really be an asset for Broad Street,” he added.
The nesting doors would allow the restaurant to offer a dining experience with an outside flair while still protected from inclement weather.
The building was constructed around 1900.
Robinson plans to convert the second story for residential use. He said there would be four two-bedroom apartments accessed by new stairs on the rear of the building.