Mike Wampold plans to open a traditional Jewish deli on the ground floor of his new Marriott Autograph Hotel, The Watermark, on which construction will begin next month.
Milford’s on Third, as the deli will be called, will be named for the developer’s late grandfather, who was a Jewish grocer in Alexandria, and will feature dishes made from his traditional recipes. The deli will front Third Street, adjacent to the hotel’s main entrance at 150 N. Third St.
“It will be a cool little Jewish deli,” says Wampold, who completed demolition work on the interior of the building earlier this year and is finalizing the permits to begin construction this week. “There will be table seating and some counter seating, and a lot of takeout and delivery stuff.”
The deli will be one of two dining options at the 146-room hotel, which is expected to open in August 2016. The Watermark will also have an upscale restaurant on its ground floor centered on the historic Angela Gregory murals that adorn the first-floor walls of the 1920s-era building. The restaurant will have a bar on the Convention Street side of the hotel and a display kitchen.
Greenwood Hospitality Group, a Connecticut-based firm that specializes in upscale and boutique hotels, will manage the hotel, including the restaurant and deli. Rather than bringing in a local chef to develop his own signature eatery, Wampold decided to keep that portion of the business in house but under the management of a specialty firm.
“They have a hospitality side to their business and also a food-service side with expert chefs, so they really know what they are doing,” he says.
Milton Womack Construction has been selected as the general contractor for the project, which Wampold estimates will cost a total of some $32 million. That includes the $10.2 million purchase of the 12-story building, which he acquired from the Baton Rouge Area Foundation in 2013.