Work already is under way on the eatery, which will be called — fittingly — Vinsetta Garage. It is expected to open during the first quarter of 2012, said owner KC Crain, vice president and publisher of AutoWeek.
"The fun thing has been, the more and more we get into the building, we're finding all these gems," such as 1950s floor tiles, he said. "We'll try to preserve those — everything from the skylights all the way to the interior feel of the garage."
There will be booths along the walls, tables in the center and a private dining room in the back, Crain said.
While the menu is still a work in progress, Crain could make three promises: There will be comfort food. There will be vegetarian options. And there will be mac and cheese. The latter is a staple at the Clarkston Union Bar and Kitchen and the Union Woodshop, restaurants owned by Crain's partner and AutoWeek colleague, Curt Catallo.
"It's getting a lot of buzz," Crain said. "I think everybody's really excited about the opportunity to save a historic building and put some mac and cheese in it."