A New Vision For Goat Hollow's Design
Alan Metcalfe wants to change the upstairs seating area, place fire pits outside and do a variety of other things.
The building at 300 W. Mt. Pleasant Ave. was never really supposed to be a dining establishment, according to Metcalfe Architecture & Design's Alan Metcalfe.
But the building was home to the Goat Hollow Restaurant for 17 years before it closed. Now that the restaurant is coming back to the neighborhood under new ownership, Metcalfe, who is working on designing the establishment, has a different sort of vision for how the space should look.
"This restaurant, at the time, was almost a success in spite of itself," Metcalfe said. "A lot of different small buildings in the neighborhood, they're houses. They're not really set up to be restaurants."
That's why Metcalfe, who lives in Mt. Airy and frequented Goat Hollow when it was around in the past, wants to help give it a makeover of sorts. The restaurant is still waiting to get its liquor license, but owner Neil Campbell said he hopes that process is complete by May. Construction can commence on the building once that's OKed.
Changes will abound, according to Metcalfe. One of them involves the upstairs dining section, which in the past, he said, felt disconnected from the downstairs area.
The upstairs floor will be cut open and a railing will be put in around the hole there. That will allow people sitting up above to see people downstairs, which is intended to give the two areas some sense of togetherness.
Metcalfe said people upstairs might feel as if they're sitting in a treehouse of sorts.
"It all boils down to us, as designers, remembering what it's like to be kids," Metcalfe said. "It's a feeling of, almost, like power. It makes you feel connected."
There will also be an outdoor dining area in a grotto-like space that will be somewhat enclosed.
Fire pits will also be present. Metcalfe said they're pretty rare at restaurants in Philadelphia.
"Sitting outside by a campfire is just a really galvanizing experience for people," he said. "It's so primordial."
Metcalfe compared the general space to the outdoor dining area at nearby McMenamin's Tavern.
(What do you think of the potential changes to the Goat Hollow building? Tell us in the comments.)
Recycled bottles will also be incorporated into the space. Metcalfe said they could potentially be used for light fixtures or in other spots.
Overall, Metcalfe said, the space won't be a late night "screaming party place," as he put it. It's going to be a place for people to have a drink and dinner, but it probably won't go too far beyond that.
He's excited about Goat Hollow's prospects.
"The city's come back to life, and everybody looks at these old buildings," he said. "And instead of wanting to knock them down, people see them as a beautiful asset."
Stay tuned for photos of renderings of the Goat Hollow building.