The northwest corner of 20th & Carpenter has been through some serious changes in the last decade. Turning back the clock to 2007, the building at the corner was a vacant mess and 922 S. 20th St. next door was a bodega with a well-deserved reputation for drug dealing. Though some of the activities that took place in the bodega were quite illegal, the building had some terrific bones.
As the years passed, things changed, as they're wont to do. The building at the corner got a gut renovation, with two apartments upstairs and a corner store below. A few years ago, the folks who own 19 Degrees at 19th & Christian bought the former bodega next door and had plans to renovate the building and open a pho place on the first floor. Somewhere along the line, the renovation plan was scrapped and they demolished the building instead, excellent bones be damned. The property has sat vacant ever since.
But wait! We passed by the property yesterday and it looks like foundation work is underway. Could pho possibly be far behind?
The answer to that question is a definitive yes. According to permits, they're eliminating the commercial aspect here and building a duplex instead. Considering that they'd need a variance for mixed-use and this is a by-right play, we can't say we're surprised. It's worth mentioning, we always thought it would have been a little odd to have a restaurant in a non-corner space at 20th & Carpenter. But our love of pho blinded our better judgment. Not the first time, and it won't be the last.