Since I was next door at the Armature and it was a Sunday, meaning no one was around to tell me not to walk around the buildings, I toured the Standard and the building beside it slated to be a “destination restaurant.” If you want more detailed information about the two, and you didn’t do it yesterday, you really should read Jack Neely’s Metro Pulse article on the street from last week’s issue.
The buildings sit just west of the Armature, the subject of yesterday’s article. The smaller of the two is slated to be a “destination restaurant.” Of course, that’s easy to say, and many things are proposed for downtown which never happen – but the developers in this case, Dewhirst and Heinz, have probably the most impressive record of backing up their word for future projects of anyone in the city.
It’s a bit ironic that downtown’s most recent and oldest destination restaurant sat on the other side of the train yard from this building and is visible in the distance from the new location. It doesn’t seem like a very large building in which to place a restaurant, but I’m not a great judge of size and the building has an oddity about it that makes it more difficult: it is built into the hillside. Most of the back is covered under the hill and the small parking lot which curls around behind it comes nearly to the roof line.
Also visible from these two buildings are the West Jackson Workshops and the McClung Warehouse, one vibrant and the other having a ray of hope after languishing so long. Looking directly up from the buildings, the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church steeple peeks over the hillside. Also visible over the bluff is Ryan’s Row, condominiums built for the World’s Fair, and some of the very few homes downtown with private, attached garages.
The spacious back deck is part of the appeal to renting the space, but it’s the interior that really shines. You really should go to that Metro Pulse article to see the “before” pictures. The building was falling in on itself and unsafe for use. Not a particularly beautiful building on the outside, it would have been an easy one to demolish. But they didn’t, and look at it now! The interior is gorgeous and the calendar is apparently hopping. All the events so far have been private, but public events are coming soon.
That makes three similar event spaces in pretty close vicinity; The Foundry on the north end of the World’s Fair Park, The Standard and, just across the tracks, the Southern Railway facility. I somehow doubt it is too much and I look forward to attending an event at the Standard. I’d heard that the Scruffy City Ramble might resume there, but that wasn’t mentioned in the article and it seems it would have been. Rhythm and Blooms was mentioned as a planned public usage next spring.