After the major upheaval on Market Square last December which saw the closings or announcements of closing of Shonos in City, Latitude 35, Steamboat and Orange Leaf, interest has been intense as to what would happen in each space. The former Steamboat is now Agora, two other spaces are rapidly moving toward opening dates, but one has shown no movement and that’s intensified the curiosity: What is happening at the former Latitude 35 site?
All of the answers are not in place, but I can give an update regarding a few decisions which have been made and solicit your thoughts on what might be a good next move. The building is actually several addresses and is pretty complicated. 16 Market Square is the old Latitude 35 space, but the building includes Market Square addresses through 22 Market Square. This larger building currently includes Uncorked and Earth to Old City, as well as ten one-bedroom apartments, an entertainment space featuring meeting areas, a kitchen and three bedrooms, and a roof-top patio.
Some decisions have been made. Many of you are familiar with the space below 16 Market Square. The stairs go into the basement from the front just inside what used to be Latitude 35. Many of us got our introduction to the basement at World Grotto in what seems like a lifetime ago. The stairs, as it turns out, will be removed. This will give more square footage to the ground-level floor and will allow the two to operate independently.
Plans for the ground-level floor are not firm at this time, though I hope to have more on that in the near future. It is seen as a restaurant space and preparations for that are planned. A 1,500 gallon grease interceptor is included in the plans, along with a downstairs kitchen space in the rear of the basement. A tenant is yet-to-be-named.
Also determined is that an elevator will be installed to connect the basement and the rooftop. The idea is that the two can work together as one event space, perhaps benefiting in some way from the presence of the future restaurant, though that would be determined between business owners. Access to the elevator will be via a corridor between 16 and 18 Market Square. The elevator will also be the primary access for residents in the apartments, removing their need to walk through Uncorked as is the case currently.
With the basement connected to the rooftop via the new elevator, a number of opportunities present themselves. The basement currently includes a bar and will continue to have a stage, while its rear side offers the possibility of a direct entrance via the Strong/Armstrong Alley – or as more people probably know it by now, the Art Alley. That alley is set for a major upgrade and will be more attractive for such a use.
The rooftop includes about 1000 square feet with excellent views. The space is adequate to host somewhere between 100 and 150 people, depending on usage and any build-out that the new business owners might prefer. How it might work with the basement is something the new owner would work through, though there are other businesses (Preservation Pub and Scruffy City Hall) with bars below and roof-top spaces connected by stairs.
So, that’s the build-out plan and what is being envisioned. Any of you have ideas of what kind of bar/business would be cool for the two to work together? Jazz/Folk/Singer-songwriter club for downstairs? Speakeasy with alley access? Something totally different. If you have ideas post them in a comment. If you have a specific plan you’d like to discuss for the space, contact Jimmy Buckner (one of the partners) at firstname.lastname@example.org. He’s also about to have a couple of the one-bedroom apartments available, so you could also contact him about that if you’re interested.
So, slowly, the different businesses are being replaced and I’m liking what’s happening. While it seemed pretty dark at the time and some folks on social media and comment boards wanted to make like Market Square/Downtown sky was falling, clearly we’re coming out of all of that just fine. Hopefully I’ll have more information on what’s up in the near future.