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311 Main St.

Local business entrepreneur Doug Nicholson has purchased the building at 311 Main St. in Downtown Racine. He is in the process of formulating plans for the building.

RACINE — Downtown tavern owner Doug Nicholson has bought the long-vacant building at 311 Main St. and said rehabbing it “will be our biggest project yet.”

Nicholson is the owner of three Downtown businesses: Ivanhoe Pub & Eatery, 231 Main St.; Envi Ultra Lounge, 316 Main St.; and Carriage House Liquor Co., 220 State St.

The newly acquired building is three stories in height with 12,500 square feet of floor space, he said. Nicholson plans to rehab it over about the next two years and said its future use is yet to be determined.

He said his architect was inside Monday to get some ideas. Nicholson plans to seek historic tax credits, which can be obtained because Downtown is a designated historic district.

Nicholson bought the building for $110,000 from Dr. George Zaleski, according to online records. The sale was recorded Thursday.

The structure was built in 1913 and was originally a saloon and hall, Nicholson said.

In addition to his Downtown businesses, this spring Nicholson also bought the now-closed Kenny’s on Main, 1300 N. Main St., and the rental house at 1302 N. Main St. Both will be rehabbed, and he plans to reopen the tavern as Main Hub — a reference to the fact that it is at the corner of Main and Hubbard streets.

Nicholson will also add a small kitchen in the bar and a large outdoor patio and bar.

On Monday, the Racine Public Safety and Licensing Committee gave the project its blessing, and the City Council will have a chance to make that final on Aug. 16. Nicholson hopes to have Main Hub, which he said will be “truly a neighborhood pub,” open in about October.

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Michael "Mick" Burke covers business and the Village of Sturtevant. He is the proud father of two daughters and owner of a fantastic, although rug-chewing, German shepherd dog.

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