When they move into new space in Onion Bottom Station on East 12th Street, the Camp House may lose some of the foot traffic that has made their downtown location a hub for informal meetings, but they'll gain free parking and a lot of flexibility, said Matt Busby, director of the Camp House and pastor of Mission Chattanooga.
"The physical space of the building will be far better," Busby said. "It's definitely going to be a change, but it's one we're excited about."
The Camp House will close its doors at 149 E. M.L. King Blvd. on Feb. 21, and expects to reopen in Onion Bottom Station on April 13. The Chattanooga Mission Church will continue to meet in the old space through March.
While Mission Chattanooga has purchased 24,000 square feet of space in the newly renovated building, they will occupy about 18,000 of it and plan to lease out the rest. Their current location is about 12,000 square feet, and the added space will mean they can host cultural and other events during the day without disrupting the restaurant and coffee shop scene, Busby said.
"In this new space, the Camp House [restaurant and coffee shop] and gathering space are separated, so we'll be able to do daytime events," Busby said.
The Camp House is enlisting partners to provide all-day food and beverage service in its new home.
Plus Coffee will open inside The Camp House's new space, expanding on its existing operations, which include a St. Elmo coffee house and a coffee roasting business.
Friar Tuck's Kitchen & Bar is a new restaurant created by Alexandria and Josiah Newport inspired by the neighborhood taverns they frequented while living in Europe. The restaurant will feature a custom menu that centers on fresh cut fries and globally inspired cuisine — along with a full-service bar.
The redeveloped warehouse named Onion Bottom Station includes 90,000 square feet of multi-use space at 806 E. 12th St. The Camp House is the first tenant of the space, which was the old Dixie Produce warehouse. Infill Communities, a commercial development and management company in Chattanooga focused on developing under-utilized urban spaces, is developing the complex.
Mission Chattanooga will own the renovated facility and provide a permanent home for both the church and The Camp House, maintaining a commitment to serve not only through hospitality, but by stewarding educational and cultural events, Busby said.
To finish raising funds for the project project, The Camp House, Plus Coffee and Friar Tuck's Kitchen & Bar are launching a Kickstarter campaign.
"We're inviting the community to be part of launching the next iteration of The Camp House," Busby said.
Contact Mary Fortune at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6653. Follow her on Twitter at @maryfortune.