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I've gotten an update this evening on what is affectionately referred to around here as the "Little Red Building," the two-story townhouse on the eastern edge of the Courtyard by Marriott on L Street, SE. The owner has passed along the news that he has received his construction permits for a new two-story building that will house an upscale liquor store to be known as "Parkway Wine and Spirits." This does mean that the LRB is going to be demolished, and fences should go up tomorrow (Thursday) around the site. He expects the construction to take about five months, and since there will be some noise and disturbance while the work is underway, he wanted neighbors and residents to have advance notice.
Here's the design plans for the exterior of the new building; hopefully we can also get some information on his operational plans (and what sort of goods he'll be stocking) soon. Looks like the new building will be brick as well, and of a similar design--I hope it'll still be red!
(And I have to admit that I'll be sorry to see it go, since it's the subject of one of my very first [and still one of my most favorite] photos.)
Comments (17)
   
 
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Comments

David C says: (6/30/10 11:17 PM)
That's too bad. Whatever they build wont have the character or soul that the LRB has. It's almost a neighborhood mascot. Don't post any photos. I can to bear to see them...


JD says: (6/30/10 11:19 PM)
Maybe he'll let me give him a framed copy of the January 2003 photo to display, from when the LRB stood alone.


NJA says: (7/1/10 12:52 AM)
Wait, so 909 AND the LRB are housing liquor stores? I thought we were transitioning OUT of the ghetto...


DG says: (7/1/10 9:11 AM)
I agree with NJA. How many liquor stores does a neighborhood need?


JD says: (7/1/10 9:40 AM)
To be fair to Parkway, these plans have been around for a *long* time now. They were definitely "here first," so to speak. (Even before Cornercopia.)


Nick says: (7/1/10 11:31 AM)
Well good for the independent entrepreneur spirit. However, the owner and developer might want to poll some of the
(3000) new local residents who might think the site could use something other than a liquor store. Seriously, Cornucopia and 909 are more than sufficient. What would be ideal in that location would be a quaint brick oven pizza that serves craft beer and boutique wine...something similar like iggies in Baltimore (Baltimore is way more layed back and allows you to byob) link fact it'd look even better just renovating the current LRB. but alas, the development has been in the pipeline for sometime, and I am all for it, however I believe the owner might be a little late getting started even if he was first on the planning board. SE is not a haven for liquor stores, its up and coming with young professions and families who are yearning for more local places to enjoy and not avoid.


Pat says: (7/1/10 12:17 PM)
"What would be ideal in that location would be a quaint brick oven pizza that serves craft beer and boutique wine"

You mean like another Justin's Cafe?

Why is it that everything new in this city has to be $6 beers and $8 glasses of wine?


Jimbo says: (7/1/10 1:06 PM)
"Why is it that everything new in this city has to be $6 beers and $8 glasses of wine?"

I agree.

I'm also not 100% happy about 2 new stores that sell alcohol. We've got 7-11 and Cornercopia, I think that's plenty.



F says: (7/1/10 1:39 PM)
Concur that we've reached a critical mass of liquor stores in near SE. No more needed.

How about: A restaurant where you sit down and waiters serve you!


DG says: (7/1/10 3:21 PM)
I agree with F. I'm not necessarily opposed to another liquor store, but a sit-down restaurant where waiters serve you would be a nice addition to the 'hood.


JoeNDc says: (7/1/10 4:09 PM)
I have to concur with the prevailing sentiment regarding the addition of yet another liquor store. The whole multiple liquor store issue is becoming a bit disconcerting. I realize that to gain the "buy in" of the politicos and the acceptance of the residents, the owners of these establishments are trying to present a different model of a typical liquor store. I do appreciate that effort. However, just because you put a pretty bow on a pig doesn't mean it is anything but a pig. It becomes a slippery slope when too many of these business are allowed into any one neighborhood.

What we need are more sit down restaurants/taverns such as are found up on barricks row. I love barricks row, but I'd like to see our neighborhood grow in a way that enhances the quality of life for all residents. How about a great sports bar restaurant like Glory Days? How about a place for the locals to hang out and get to know each other while enjoying a few beers and simple foods such as burgers, sandwiches, and wings? They have reasonable prices, are middle of the road, and you can take your kids and not feel like you are actually bringing them into a bar.

As the neighborhood grows, we will see how the addition of these businesses impact us. Hopefully they will be successful in creating a new niche for themselves and are able to craft an image that is not the same old, same old that many of us are worried about.


MJM says: (7/1/10 7:16 PM)
Markets conditions will dictate whether these liquor store survive. If people don't go to one then that one probably won't survive.

Small businesses like Justin will survive - forget the big boy chains - someone needs to step up and start a business. The BID is right now the street for help.


c says: (7/2/10 10:03 AM)
Liquor store across the street from canal park let alone the block designated for the children's play area is a disaster and poor planning. I'm hopeful because the facility is new construction it will be aesthetically pleasing and improve the CHT/Marriott side of the street because it's a bit dumpy. It really was a missed opportunity to design CHT and the hotel to fit with the park and i hope all the facilities along this new future amenity work to improve this transition.

I could care less about the LRB, it is a sorry dilapidated mess that needs to go.


JT says: (7/2/10 9:30 PM)
Despite all the complaining, I note that there is not a single liquor store currently in near SE.

Yeah, there's one right across South Capitol and there are several on the "right" side of the tracks (i.e., north of the freeway), but there aren't any down here.


F says: (7/5/10 8:20 AM)
c makes an excellent point about the proximity of liquor stores to Canal Park. I don't think we need to have a liquor store right next to the new centerpiece of our community, or in near proximity to Garfield Park (where I spent yesterday morning with a neighbor untangling vandalized swing sets).

There is already a liquor store on 8th ST SE, which never seems too busy whenever I walk by. There's also one at 406 1ST SE next to Bullfeathers, a whole 4 blocks from the LRB.

I also don't think the LRB is an architectural site worth preserving in structure, or memory. Can't its owner think of a better way to cater to the community's demand, thereby building a healthy, initial customer base? If he wants to sell hard liquor, how about a restaurant with a liquor license?

After Near SE has come this far I hope the community leaders and planners don't develop near sightedness and forget "what could be" in this neighborhood.



C says: (7/5/10 11:39 AM)
workers at LRB this morning beginning demolition - most of it looks internal at this point - either way, goodbye LRB


JT says: (7/5/10 10:01 PM)
A liquor store near a public park?...

Good heavens!

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