Bedford Village Inn seeking 820-square-foot addition to tavernBy KIMBERLY HOUGHTON
Union Leader Correspondent
April 12. 2018 10:29AM
BEDFORD — The Bedford Village Inn is planning to expand its tavern to improve kitchen safety and handicapped access.
If approved by the planning board, the addition will be constructed off the northwest corner of the tavern.
“The proposed expansion is approximately 820 square feet, and the purpose of the expansion is to provide a safer work environment with more agreeable workspace for the kitchen staff,” Christopher Rice, senior project manager with TFMoran, wrote in a letter to planners.
The requested addition comes about two years after The Grand at Bedford Village Inn, a modern and high-end boutique hotel, opened its doors. That $15 million facility included 50 hotel suites, about 30 fireplaces, a custom lobby bar, outdoor patio and year-round pool.
The tavern proposal will provide a handicapped accessible bathroom and a more accessible public entrance, according to Rice. The tavern kitchen would be expanded and the seating area would shift to the east, he explained in the site plan application on file at town hall.
“There are no new employees proposed as part of this project, and no new seats are proposed,” Rice wrote. The tavern now has 65 seats.
Also proposed are a wheelchair ramp and exterior improvements to the tavern’s facade.
Town planning staff have recommended the creation of a path from the handicap parking area to the new ramp and that a stop sign and stop bar be installed for the one-way traffic exiting the property near the addition, according to records on file.
“Staff is concerned the building addition may present sight distance issues for the one-way traffic exiting and traffic entering and exiting the driveway leading to the site’s parking area along Route 101,” Mark Connors, assistant planning director, wrote in a memo to TFMoran.
Connors said the tavern addition also may trigger code requirements that would mandate the entire facility be refitted with a sprinkler system.
TMS Architects of Portsmouth is assisting with the facade, which will have new clapboards and matching trim, a new brick chimney mass, clad windows with dividers and new exterior stairs.
“New decorative screening and details will be in-keeping with the inn building in style and color,” according to the plans by TMS Architects, adding that roof materials will match the tavern building.
The project will be considered by the planning board at its next meeting on April 23.