The only thing certain about Shiloh Bar and Grill is that, come Jan. 1, it won’t be at the same place.
The owner of the building, real estate developer Jack Rader, told the bar’s owner, Tom Atkinson, in January that he had decided not to renew the lease.
Atkinson said that although he knew that Rader planned to make some changes to the site at 227 S. Sixth St., it still came as a surprise.
“I didn’t know the time frame,” he said.
Atkinson, known as T.A. to his friends, said he plans to relocate, but the specifics remain up in the air. He has general plans to remain downtown to retain his customer base, but he is exploring other possibilities.
“I’ve been here 12 years and built rapport with my customers,” he said. “Hopefully the positive experience (they) have had will lead them back.”
Rader said he decided sometime last year not to renew the lease with Atkinson, and he plans to build, in about 12 months, a six- to 10-story, multi-use building where Shiloh now stands. Until that happens, Rader said, he will open another sports bar at the location that will be a Rader family operation. Rader has not selected a name; Atkinson will take the Shiloh name with him.
Rader’s long-term plans for the site will either meet or exceed the recommendations of Sasaki Associates, a Boston-based urban planning firm that helped the city create a strategy for redeveloping the southern corridor of the central business district. Part of Sasaki’s recommendations, presented last December, include a mixed-use “garden district” in the Flat Branch area that includes Shiloh.
Rader also owns at least two properties adjacent to the Shiloh building, according to records at the Boone County assessor’s office. One is a small lot at 219 S. Sixth that includes some of Shiloh’s outdoor seating area; the other is at 501 Elm St., the location of U.S. Cleaners.
Fred Merrill, a principal of Sasaki, said the recommendations his firm presented do not represent a comprehensive master plan and that any master plan for that area would be a separate body of work.
“I wouldn’t really call it a plan; it’s more of a strategy,” Merrill said. He said the goal is to make the downtown area more vibrant and active.