By Tony Wittkowski | Business Reporter | The Herald-Palladium
ST. JOSEPH — Robert Montgomery likes to joke that a very expensive light bulb went off in his wife’s head.
A few months ago, Montgomery and his wife began their upstairs remodeling and expansion of 221 Main Restaurant and Cocktail House, which has drawn the attention of many in downtown St. Joseph.
The second floor is being called The Terrace at 221.
Montgomery has shuffled everything around downstairs to include a lounge area for customers waiting to be seated. The dining tables are reserved for the back two sections, while the gaming portion of the restaurant has been rid of completely.
“It makes for a more relaxing experience, especially when you have to wait for a table,” Montgomery said.
Upstairs is another story.
The stairs leading to The Terrace will be completed Monday, but the upstairs portion that includes glass walls that fold up, a patio with a view, two bars with 221 different kinds of whiskey and a 51-inch fireplace are expected to be finished in late January.
The space above the restaurant used to be studio apartments.
The upstairs expansion will have room for 125 people. Broken down, it’s about 50 on the inside and 75 on the outside patio. The restaurant already seats 199 downstairs.
Montgomery said his wife came up with the idea about two years ago. They began planning and worked with the city to determine what would need to be in place. Contractors have been tearing apart the upstairs and adding pieces for the last three months.
Amid the seating, Montgomery has a plan for upstairs.
“We’ll have one booth kind of roped off up here,” Montgomery said. “We have no other booths in here, just tables. This booth will have a chandelier and seat about six. Whoever sits here will feel important.”
In addition to the whiskey and cocktail selection, the upstairs portion will be equipped with a wine display.
The outside patio with the fireplace is located on the southwest corner of 221 Main. The fireplace will have cultured stone, connected to the railings that surround the perimeter of the patio.
“It’s going to be really sharp,” Montgomery said. “We’re really excited.”
Bench seating will go along either wall on the patio with tables stationed in front. The patio will have a sound system, in the event an artist were to perform. Even the menu will be different upstairs, where the chef will find things that pair well with the wine and whiskey.
The Terrace also will be limited those 21 and older.
When the expansion is completed, Montgomery said the plan is to open the inside portion of the upstairs to dining immediately. The outside patio would be available in the spring.
Everything has yet to be determined, but Montgomery likes the idea of using the patio during the winter on special occasions.
“We’ve talked about doing some winter events up here,” Montgomery said. “I mean, having people up here with drinks during the Fire and Ice Festival would be great.”