During the past decade, dozens of older buildings in downtown New Albany have been repaired and renovated. More than a few of them are hosting restaurants and bars, and since bars are my natural habitat, you can easily imagine that while the devil's always in the details, I'm overwhelmingly supportive of these upgrades.
Work currently is progressing at two adjacent buildings on Market Street. The first one is big and brick, and it will not be a food and drink establishment -- although in the beginning, it was.
This c.1859 building was constructed as one building but finished as two individual units. The first known occupant of 110 East Market Street was Nicholas Sauer, who had a coffee house and later a saloon here, and lived above. The Capital Saloon first occupied 112 East Market and was operated by Frederick Borgerding, who lived upstairs.
The Gamble heirs sold the building in July 1888 - 110 East Market went to druggist and tenant Charles Knoefel, and 112 went to tenant and grocer Frederick Knabke. In 1921, the two separate storefronts were combined when the entire first floor became Mayes Drug Company. It remained that until 1935. By 1937, the Jay C Food Store occupied the building, and was here through 1956. After a few years of vacancy, the Thrift Dollar Store moved into the site by 1959, followed by Ace Loan and Sporting Goods, which closed in 2015.
Interior views of 110 E. Market St., once Ace Loan, now being transformed by Resch Construction into The Root coworking center.
Urban layers: The ancient unknown courtyard behind The Root (where Ace Loan used to be) has been opened to access -- eventually.
The smaller structure by the alley has little in the way of noteworthy lineage, and doesn't even merit a name.
114 East Market Street
New Albany, IN 47150
This heavily-altered commercial building was once home to Lewis Hammond's 'Yankee Doodle' store, the interior of which is seen below in a photo from about 1917.
Later the building housed two bars, first Love's Cafe and then more recently, Good Times. It is in the process of being almost completely rebuilt from the ground up, with much of the original wood slated to be repurposed in the interior. When the work is finished, it will become Pints & Union, the forthcoming pub being sketched by Joe Phillips and yours truly.
Our shared vision takes the traditional Anglo-Irish pub as a starting point. It might be described as "progressively old school," although this phrase lamentably is being used by someone else. For a taste of what we're projecting for the "classic beer" program, here are two links.
THE BEER BEAT: Sunday sermonizing about the arduous path to pints, and union.
THE BEER BEAT meets "comfort beer." It's undervalued, but real -- for instance, like Fuller's London Pride. Did I mention undervalued?
It's still too early to go into details, so please stay tuned. Relevant mantras include stability, comfort and storytelling. Meanwhile, here are photos of the buildout, which should be finished in a couple of months. As oft times before downtown, Steve Resch and his construction company are doing the work -- and they're the best.
We've always guessed this concrete rectangle was poured to protect the corner of the building from being hit by vehicles turning into the alley.
But I see it as a plinth waiting to happen; imagine a public art contest and the eventual installation of a statue here, at the National Memorial to the Victims of Prohibition in America. Allow me to diagram the scene.
Pints & Union is real, and it's underway. A thousand hoops remain, and we'll jump them one at a time. Your support is appreciated.