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'Top Chef' B&B gets permit to expand

Posted: August 28, 2013 - 12:04am

The Jorgenson House, a downtown bed and breakfast and former filming location for television show “Top Chef,” scored a conditional use permit at Tuesday’s Planning Commission meeting, formally allowing it to operate and expand from two rented rooms to four. The business has been operating without a permit for about a year, owner Brian Heimbigner said.

Brian and his co-owner mother Renda Heimbigner, the house chef, Elizabeth Eilers, and three neighbors came to the meeting in support of the bed and breakfast.

Brian Heimbigner grew up in Juneau, and has spent 10 years in the tourism industry, he said. The bed and breakfast operates out of his great-grandfather’s house, located at 635 Alder St., which has been in the family since 1917. The Heimbigners have been renovating the house since they inherited it in 2000.

The Jorgenson House has four rentable rooms that go for $295 per night, according to the business’ website. The family seeks to offer “an elegant space” for independent travelers, Brian Heimbigner said after the meeting. He said the bed and breakfast will be “very private.”

One of the bed and breakfast’s most beautiful features are the neighboring gardens of “old, established plants,” Renda Heimbigner said.

“Our neighbors have fabulous gardens,” she said during the meeting. “It’s a fabulous place to walk.”

Neighbors and garden owners Evelyn and Karen Beason came to the meeting in support of the Heimbigners.

“They’ve done so much for the house,” Karen Beason said.

Brian Heimbigner said “it’s a relief” to have city approval behind him. After the meeting, the group headed to a local restaurant to celebrate.

• Contact reporter Katie Moritz at 523-2294 or at katherine.moritz@juneauempire.com.

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