About a year after first bringing plans to the city, a new sushi and seafood restaurant could be on track for an opening later this year at 6818 W. North Ave., next to Rocket Baby Bakery.
The Design Review Board approved a new design for Fish Cheeks Thursday, which included a natural ironwood exterior with tall windows covering most of the front facade and a gray-blue trim. It was the restaurant's second go with the board, who approved the new plan unanimously, contingent on a lighting plan.
"I think this is a much nicer building this time around," board member Ed Haydin said. "I like it."
Since the last iteration, architect Tom Vavra said he added about 500 square feet to the building and scrapped plans to have a living quarters. The plan requires demolishing most of the existing building, save the floor.
Vavra and restauranteur John Steiner said they hope to begin demolition work by September and open in December. But their next step is polishing the design and submitting it to the Plan Review Board. That presentation has not been scheduled yet.
"It will be exciting for this to finally happen," Vavra said.
John Kesselman, a broker on the project with Milton Investments, said in an interview the delay has been caused by changes in financing. He said a group of investors had come to a financial agreement before purchasing the property, but decided they wanted to reconfigure it.
"They decided to finance it in a different way," Kesselman said. "But the intent has always been to finish it."
Steiner also stressed the group's dedication to following through despite the long wait.
"We all know this is going to be successful," he told the board.
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