Construction On Buona Forchetta Continues, Timeline To Open Gets Closer - Coronado Eagle & Journal | Coronado News | Coronado Island News: Coronado Home And Business

Construction On Buona Forchetta Continues, Timeline To Open Gets Closer

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Posted: Friday, October 18, 2019 5:06 pm

The building on Tenth Street and C Avenue, which was a garage and a De Soto car dealership in the past, will soon take on a new life as a restaurant/market. The former El Cordova Garage closed in 2017 after a new owner took over the block, and the building has been under construction for a while. Local builder Kraig Nicolls recently started his part to shape the building into a restaurant.

Matteo Cattaneo, a Coronado resident who owns a number of Buona Forchetta restaurants, is also the owner of the upcoming Coronado restaurant by the same name . He and Nicolls have worked together to maintain the feel of the garage as locals knew it. Their idea is to maintain the vintage feel of the building as a landmark with its Art Deco style.

“We’re redoing all the neon signs, we’re restoring the paint to have a patina and bringing [the building] to its former glory,” said Nicolls. “We’re keeping the garage-esque feel with the roll up doors…the only thing [that will be different is] in the front it will say Buona Forchetta.”

Nicolls said the permitting process has been the most difficult, but while the 7,000 square foot space remains the same on the outside, the inside the changes will be astounding. The original ceiling was sandblasted and the wood rafters and steel beams have been exposed, in contrast to the previous look when everything was painted white.

The parking lot, formerly the impound lot, has taken a lot of time to get into its current shape and the work was done by Dempsey Construction. The lot is now paved and features a large area which will be planted with grass between the restaurant and the former Eagle Newspapers building.

“The soil was all in great shape and there was no leakage,”said Nicolls of the many questions locals had about the quality of the soil after being a garage for so long. A lot of storm water remediation has been done to that area with storm water pumps. The soil was dug 20 feet deep and 4-feet of permeable bed rock was placed over it with a top layer of pavers that help water seep through. Two telephone poles were buried in the back and the gas, sewer and water lines were replaced. Nicolls explained the next step is the fire suppression line and the street will have to be dug up for that work.

The sidewalk around the corner of the building was ready to be paved during this visit and the fence currently up will come down as soon as that work is over. That area will feature outdoor tables.

“We are working diligently to putting the parking back,” said Nicolls referring to the parking spaces currently not available, on the corner of Tenth Street and C Avenue, due to the construction.

Nicolls, a local Coronadan and a CHS graduate class of 1989, is proud he has been in charge of this restoration. “I was picked because I’m local. I’m taking good care of this building and restoring it to its former glory,” he said.

Nicolls has worked on quite a few restaurants in town including Primavera, Yogurt Escape and the window at Clayton’s. The first restaurant Nicolls worked on was Blue Bohème on Adams Avenue in San Diego owned by local Chef Ken Irvine some years ago.

Although the interior of the restaurant is still in the works, Nicolls gave a tour and explained the floor will be concrete and the eatery will have a garage and industrial feel. The checkered floor in the showroom that locals were so used to seeing when the site was the El Cordova Garage, will come back. A 4,000 pound pizza oven is already in place. The eatery will have a see-through kitchen with large chef’s table in the center and a large bar. A car will be featured in the new restaurant as a reminder to everyone of the former garage. The restaurant will also feature a market which will sell sauces, pastas and more.

Nicolls started the work on the inside of the building this past August. The entrance of the restaurant will be on C Avenue, where the original entrance of the garage’s office had been. The garage door on Tenth Street now sports glass and steel is being considered as a walk up window.

Permitting took about four months said Nicolls and he is shooting for the work to be finished by Christmas. “We are ahead of schedule, we’re almost at rough inspection,” he explained. “Working with Matteo has been fun. He and his team are nice people to work for.”

“People in Coronado are excited to see another good restaurant open and we are restoring it to its former glory,” he said.

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