A long-neglected parcel at a gateway to Bath Township will be developed into a 22,500-square-foot building that will house a wine bar, restaurant, ice cream store, private club for golf and other game simulations, and businesses.
Bath Provisions, at the intersection of Ghent and Cleveland-Massillon roads, is owned by Stonemill Real Estate, a company formed in 2019 specifically for the development.
Construction, delayed a year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, will begin this spring, said Tom Giltner, who is overseeing the project. The businesses are expected to open in October, hopefully when restrictions are eased on social distancing and dining indoors, he said.
“We are super excited about it,” said Giltner, a Bath resident. “All the tenants are so complementary.”
The site, near Interstate 77, is the former location of Jimbo’s Drive-In and a gas station. Both closed in the early 2000s and the township purchased the land in 2010, said township administrator Vito Sinopoli. He said one proposal, for a takeout restaurant in 2013, did not proceed because of a lack of financing.
Giltner, a financial adviser and benefits consultant, said he became interested in the property in late 2018. He and three friends, who were establishing a wine bar in Cincinnati, were seeking a second location in his hometown.
Giltner said he and fellow University of Dayton alums Jeff Pater, Mike Doenges and Kevin Bullinger mirrored EMMA: Wine with Friends, on a bar they had visited in Kiawah Island, S.C., which allowed patrons to pour their own wine from taps. EMMA, named from the first initials of their wives, opened in Cincinnati in 2019.
“We looked at a couple of different options for EMMA here then looked at that corner and couldn’t believe nothing had come in,” Giltner said of the Bath Township land. He met with township officials and began to consider a development.
In addition to the four founders of EMMA, Stonemill’s partners also include attorney Irv Sugerman; Doug Weintraub, the CEO of Bounce Innovation Hub; and Jeff and Melanie Brunty, owners of The Farmer’s Rail butcher shop and market in Bath Township.
Stonemill, founded in February 2019, purchased the township property for $395,000 in March 2019 and bought an adjacent parcel from a private owner for $150,000, Giltner said. The township approved some zoning changes for the 3 acres, and the final plans will be submitted to the trustees within a month.
The triangular parcel was challenging, and they needed to ensure access from both roads, he said. Stonemill worked with Mann Parsons Gray Architects in Fairlawn and builder/developer CAM Inc. in Uniontown. Bath Provision’s three-story building will be on a slope, with two stories visible from the main parking lot. There will be 120 parking spaces.
Giltner said when the partners decided to create a development for EMMA, he contacted the Bruntys, who will open Farmer’s Rail locations in Hudson and Cuyahoga Falls this year, and asked if they were interested in partnering their food with EMMA’s wine. The Bruntys will run the Pitchfork restaurant at the site.
“We hit it off, and it’s a dynamic food concept,” he said.
Pav’s Creamery will open its fifth location. The owners, who are not part of Stonemill, are leasing their space.
“All of us are fans of Pav’s ice cream and custard and reached out to them to see if they had any interest in the project,” Giltner said. “They really did and have been great to work with.”
The Corner Club, a members-only golf simulation club, will be owned by Giltner and his wife, Megan, and Derek and Erin Klaus of Akron. It will be family friendly and feature other games, including dodgeball, Giltner said. Food and beverages from EMMA and Pitchfork will be available.
Stonemill also is seeking one or two professional or medical tenants for the 4,188-square-foot space on the second floor.
Sinopoli said township officials consider the location part of its heritage corridor and wanted any development to complement the area. He said Bath Provisions meets that goal.
And Stonemill agreed to a township proposal — that a featured “Bath Township” sign be placed on the property at the apex of the intersection, Sinopoli said.
“The developer is certainly excited to get going, and we certainly want to make sure he is successful,” he said.