In the heart of the trendy and growing Tallahassee neighborhood known as “Midtown,” a new upscale dining concept has found its home in a local landmark building. Nestled under towering oaks, The Front Porch is Capitol City’s newest and most scenic bistro.
Formerly home to an iconic French café, the 1920s two-story 9,706 square-foot Victorian structure underwent a serious $1.8 million facelift with the help of a 504 loan from Florida First Capital.
Loan proceeds were used for renovations and a redesign of the interior of the leased space, including the addition of two banquet meeting rooms in the upstairs area. Outside, a wraparound porch gives the establishment its name, providing additional space for a total of 300 diners to enjoy the quaint pedestrian-friendly center of the Midtown neighborhood.
One of the key benefits of the 504 program is the ability to work within a long-term lease and therefore allow a qualified tenant to improve their leased space while allowing their investment in the property to mature.
The new culinary venture is the creation of local real estate development, investment and management group Hunter+Harp, which is responsible for Hotel Duval as well as other restaurants in Tallahassee.
“This project really highlights the benefits of the 504 loan program,” said James Hosman, Florida First Capital Vice President and Loan Officer for the Northwest and Florida Panhandle. “It allowed a small group of proven entrepreneurs to enter into a venture that will provide the community with a completely original dining concept while also creating 35 permanent jobs.”
The Front Porch’s menu is focused around locally sourced seafood under the culinary leadership of Chef Joe Rego, a previous winner from the Food Network’s competitive cooking show, “Chopped.”
In addition to just-out-of-the-net fish, Chef Rego brings his Portuguese heritage to the table, infusing his homeland flavors into things like lobster cannelloni with asparagus tips or Portuguese-style pork and clams with crispy potatoes.
Outside on the porch, diners will find a raw bar with fresh local Apalachicola oysters, mussels and blue crab. Or, guests can spice it up with a ‘make your own ceviche’ option with offerings like fresh tuna, snapper and salmon.
If you’re in the neighborhood, stop by The Front Porch and sit a while. Check them out online at www.frontporchtallahassee.com.
For more information about SBA 504 loans in Florida, contact Florida First Capital, Florida’s original statewide SBA Certified Development Company (CDC). Email: email@example.com. Phone: 850.681.3601 or toll-free at 888.320.5504.