Big change in store for 5 Points

Big change in store for 5 Points
The property formerly housing Fuel Coffeehouse is in the market for a new long-term tenant.

Large anchor space has no lack of interest

5 Points has seen its fair share of new businesses in the past and is set to see more in the near future with the recent confirmation of a five-year lease.

The property that once situated Fuel Coffeehouse at 1037 Park St. is once again getting some much needed attention from its owner. The coffee shop and music venue was once the place where one could enjoy coffee on a weekday and see a live show that night. Several nationally recognized alternative bands including Brand New, The Format, and more played at the venue along with local bands performing nearly every night.

The business closed down over five years ago due to irresponsible management. The property owner is doing work on the building to prepare it for a long-term tenant.

“The building is being completely shelled,” said Matthew Clarke with Prime Realty, who is representing the absentee landlord. “The owner is providing a clean slate for people looking at the building.”

Primary concerns the owner is focusing on are the removal of asbestos and lead materials in the outdated construction materials.

“The building had underlying issues that led to its vacancy,” Clarke said. “The owner wanted to rid any issues for potential clients. The building will be completely healthy.”

The 10,772-square-foot property has been in the owner’s family for four generations. Originally developed for Woolworth’s, the property was later operated as Peterson’s.

Occupying the spot left vacant by Riverside Liquors and Village Wine Shop, which moved to 1251 King St. last month, will be Alewife. The American craft beer bottle shop and tasting room will offer more than 400 craft beers, a tasting bar and biergarten. The 2574-square-foot building will feature an industrial design theme with exposed shipping containers, wood-pallet furniture, display shelves and more. Avondale-based architecture firm OAD is taking on the build-out for the business.

“We’re very excited about the business,” said OAD designer Kassia Vinn. “It’s going to be an awesome space.”
The store will launch with four employees, including owners Kelly Pickard and Jamie Burket. Pickard will be the only full-time general manager of the store with Burket covering back-of-house operations on a part-time basis. Alewife will only need a beer and wine license, as they will not be serving liquors.

All employees will be required to pass the Cicerone Beer Server Test within six months of employment. The test focuses on beer storage and service, knowledge of beer styles, flavors and cultures, different brewing processes and ingredients. This test is to ensure that Alewife employees offer customers the best service possible. Alewife is projected to open mid-December.

“I’m looking forward to interact with people who are new to craft beer,” Pickard said. “I want to see people rethink what beer can be.”

Both Riverside and San Marco have  an established brewery and craft beer scene. Clarke feels that Ale Wife can only add to what is available now.

Aardwolf recently opened a brewpub in San Marco and Intuition Ale Works has announced a plan to expand their production facilities. Several other local breweries such as Bold City Brewery, Green Room Brewing Company, Engine 15 Brewing Company, River City Brewing Company, Veterans United Craft Brewery, and more stay busy providing craft beer to their niche crowds.

“It’s a great addition to 5 Points,” Clarke said. “I think that it’s really going to contribute to the synergy already in the area.”

As far as potential clients for the Fuel Coffeehouse building, Clarke said that the building shows no lack of interest.
“We are actively marketing the property. There are several prospects that are extremely viable and are ready to go,” Clarke said. “They’re chomping at the bit for the property.”

Clarke also mentioned that the building had been in the owner’s family for many years and that the main goal is to put someone in the building that will stay in the neighborhood for a long time.

By Garrett Frye
Resident Community News

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