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Phoenicia seeks expansion for improvements

By Kevin Elliott

Popular Birmingham restaurant Phoenicia, 588 S. Old Woodward, is planning a small expansion this year to accommodate additional kitchen space and private dining, as wells as a new outdoor dining area along S. Old Woodward.

Opened in 1982, Phoenicia is seeking to add about 1,381 square feet of space to the rear of the building to update the original construction and bring the building up to current city code requirements. The addition will replace a small wooden outbuilding constructed in the 1970's that has been used for storage.

At the planning board meeting on Wednesday, April 27, Birmingham City Planner Brooks Cowan said Phoenicia is seeking to rearrange some indoor seating to add 14 additional seats in the expanded area, which will include a skylight above the table in a 494-square foot dining area. Two additional indoor bathrooms, kitchen space and an employee locker room are also proposed in the area.

“The rear expansion appears to clean up what is now an unorganized and aesthetically unappealing rear storage area with unscreened dumpsters and a wooden shack in close proximity to a residential area,” Cowan said.

Additionally, Phoenicia is seeking to add a 36-seat outdoor dining patio in front of the establishment. Cowan said the design incorporates approved streetscape plans for S. Old Woodward Phase 3 construction. The dining deck wouldn’t be on the street or use on street parking, as the parking spaces must be eliminated during road construction to comply with current traffic standards.

The expansion requires Phoenicia to obtain an updated parking agreement to accommodate 20 additional parking spots, which was included as a condition for approval to city commission.

Planning board members voted unanimously to approve the site plan and associated special land use permit.


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