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Saturday, August 23, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 75.0° F  Fog/Mist
The Daily
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Roast Public House to relocate across State Street
Kabul, Buraka and Hüsnü's still seeking new locations in the face of proposed development
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Roast will be moving only months after it originally opened.
Credit:Kristian Knutsen

One of the restaurants slated to be ousted from its current location by proposed new development in the 500 block of State Street has found a new home.

Roast Public House, 529 State St., will be moving across the street to 558 State St., which was briefly the home of s2pizzabar earlier this year. s2pizzabar had renovated that space from its previous life as Opa Cafe and Lounge, so not much work will have to be done, says Roast co-owner Henry Aschauer.

S2pizzabar, which served pizzas baked in a wood oven, did not have a hood, though -- that's the one significant build-out that needs to take place, says Aschauer. (The wood oven has been removed, along with the rest of the s2pizzabar furniture. s2pizzabar owner Ian Gurfield says he is seeking a buyer for the oven and is not looking to reopen the restaurant at a different location.)

The new storefront is a larger space than Roast currently occupies, Aschauer notes, so it will probably require getting some more furniture. They may also make the fairly light space a little darker inside. "It's a good space, I like it," says Aschauer. He says he is "not at liberty to discuss" whether Roast received any help with the relocation from current landlord, the Mullins Group, or the developer.

Aschauer hopes that the move will take place around the end of August, so they can be settled "for the large football games."

Hamed Zafari of Kabul Restaurant says there are "a lot of possibilities" for a place to move to but that rent in the State Street and Capitol Square areas is steep and he's "not even close" to finding the right spot, although he's "trying hard." Zafari says he is "getting a little nervous" and has not heard definitively from anyone with regard to a date that he would have to leave his current space. The proposal has not been formally approved by the city, but Zafari feels that the plan will probably go through.

Marcos Regassa of Buraka is also looking at new locations as well as "talking with the developers about the possibility of relocating" in the new building. "Right now we are looking at all possible options."

Hüsnü's is also still looking for new sites.

The city's Plan Commission will be looking at the proposal for the new apartment and retail development on July 22, with a possible approval by the Common Council on August 6.

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