Bella Vista

It's always been an odd block

If you're walking up 7th Street between Fitzwater and Bainbridge, you might notice an odd sight on the eastern side of the street. 715 S. 7th St. is a home with no front door. In fact, as far as you can tell from the street, it doesn't have any first floor at all.

View on 7th Street

This property has a long tunnel in place of a first floor, one that's wide enough for a car to pass through even if cars are parallel parked on one side. But you can see there's some bright light on the other side.

Peeking under the carriage house

Once you emerge from the tunnel, you'll find yourself on the lovely and well hidden 600 block of Kenilworth Street. is on the outs

We've had a soft spot in our heart for the 700 block of South Street for a long time. Right out of college, we had a friend that had a (much nicer than expected) apartment above the liquor store and another friend that lived in one of those weird fortress-like houses on the north side of the street. So we spent some quality time on this block, regrettably eating Domino's after a night on the town, wondering exactly what was going on at the former Senor Rattlers, and discussing how one block of South Street could possibly support three furniture stores. Today, Domino's remains, Banh Mi and Bottles has opened in the former Senor Rattlers, and all the furniture stores are gone.

Looking east on the 700 block of South

One of those furniture stores was located at 734 South St., and that space was combined with the former Eargasm at 736 South St. to create a larger space that was home to the Busybee Homestore and Design Center. A few years ago, an franchise took over the space when Busy Bee moved to a new location. The other day, a reader reached out to give us the heads up that would be closing on June 10th, and wondered about what kind of business would take over the double-wide space.

Should be a standard for others narrow streets in town

Though the Italian Market Festival was as fun as ever this past weekend, we needed to catch our breath for a couple minutes so we ducked onto the 800 block of S. Percy Street. What we found was a little Bella Vista block with some rather unexpected green infrastructure.

Entrance to the block from Christian Street

Back in 2011, the Water Department and the Streets Department collaborated on a project to repave this block of Percy Street with an eye toward stormwater management. The street needed a new sewer line, and even prior to that job, the street was in dire need of repaving. In addition, drainage was very poor on this block, and many neighbors were dealing with wet basements.

Is L'Etage still a thing?

Over a decade ago, before Mrs. Fox came into the picture, we occasionally found ourselves at spending some quality time at L'Etage to cap off a night on the town. We haven't been back there in a long time, though we do occasionally make our way to Beau Monde, its sister establishment next door. On the other side of the club, at 607-611 Bainbridge St., a contemporary art gallery called Pageant: Soloveev has made its home since before the days that we patronized L'Etage. We were on this block the other day and noticed that the gallery is missing and its building is under heavy construction.

And their longtime home has a new owner

Via Bicycle made its home at 606 S. 9th St. for about 20 years, but from the looks of the outside or the inside, you might have guessed they'd been there five times as long. But if you pass by this address today, you'll see that the shop is no longer operating there. Fear not though, Via Bicycle is still with us, just in a new location. Their new space is smaller, but a location at 622 S. Broad St. could result in greater foot and, er, bike traffic.

Former Via Bicycle

You may be wondering what inspired this business to pull up their roots from their longtime retail space. A sign on the building provides some sort of explanation.