This article on an attempt by the owners of Great Hangups Framing wanting to rezone still has me a little puzzled (or maybe it’s just nostalgia) a week later.
Owners Mark Nichols and Patti Mierzwa have wanted to sell their 0.6-acre property for a long time. It houses the framing shop and three residences. The property is zoned single-family residential; to make the site more marketable, they want it rezoned as planned commercial.
I can understand their sentiments, and this property has long been reminded of an area of Alexandria, Virginia that successfully housed shops and restaurants in a neighborhood setting. Inner suburban types like yours truly flocked to Evening Star Cafe (pictured above) and the funky shops that dotted what was otherwise full of well-maintained, mid-century brick homes. It was a wonderful, vibrant area and had the home values to match (for the record, the main drag likely saw less traffic than Broadway).
Anyway, Columbia has almost no neighborhood dining. Cherry Hill’s only successful eatery (Kostaki’s) is probably 90%+ delivery. J. Barton’s BBQ on McBaine went out of business. After that…well, there’s just not a whole lot out there is there?
I’m not saying added traffic doesn’t present some noise and space issues. But Great Hangups is already a business (and could theoretically have enough space on the 0.6 acre plot for additional parking). Nobody complains about having D&H Drug Store across the street. And it’s already the corner of freaking Broadway and West Boulevard. Just blocks from the farmers markets too, I think it’d be a fantastic location for a restaurant.
My other suggestion:“The Corner” spot at Wilkes and Rangeline. Plenty of issues here but it’s a cute (and historic) property. Cafe Berlin seems to be making a go of it not too far away.