Stephen Hightower’s The Spoke and Hub restaurant to open around Labor Day

The former Bistro Byronz location on Government Street will reopen as The Spoke and Hub sometime around Labor Day.

Local restaurateur Stephen Hightower was issued a permit on Friday to begin remodeling the 4,500-square-foot space that’s been vacant since January when Bistro Byronz moved to the former White Star Market building in Square 46.

Construction crews have already changed the floors, replaced the roof and repaired leakages. The focus now is on the restaurant’s cosmetic work, which Hightower estimates will take several months to complete.

“They’re supposed to start tearing down the deck today,” says Hightower, who in early February announced his City Group Hospitality was taking over the location. “Our goal is to open within the first week of September.”

Once complete, the new, casual concept will look like a modern-style diner, offering what Hightower calls “Americana fare with a twist.” There will be two bars inside—one for dining, and one for serving alcohol—and two serving windows facing a large patio area for people to order food and drinks.

Hightower is also converting a smaller house behind the restaurant, which was previously used as office space, into an associated speakeasy club called The Brakes Bar. In a unique twist, the plan is for the semi-hidden bar to also offer bike repair services, like pumping tires, to patrons who bring their bikes.

Looking for between 50 to 60 workers, Hightower is slated to begin the hiring process in about six weeks for the restaurant that will offer lunch and dinner seven days a week.