When American Sardine Bar opened on the corner of 18th & Federal a little over a year ago, it was considered a big deal by new and old Point Breeze residents alike. This neighborhood has seen more than its share of hard times in the past few decades, but has experienced considerable residential development in the past few years, as developers have seen new opportunities and buyers as well as renters have been priced out of Graduate Hospital. In spite of the number of new homes and rehabs, relatively few new businesses have opened in the neighborhood, at least until the Sardine Bar opened its doors in the shuttered space of the Wander Inn.
At the corner of 21st & Federal, across the street from some odd-looking former affordable housing and a blighted former laundromat that’s supposedly getting rehabbed someday soon, a similar story may soon play out. Though Burg’s Bar has been in business for 34 years plus, it seems that owner Ralph Burger is looking to get out of the business. Back in September, he put his corner bar on the market for $165K, and quickly went under contract.
According to Michael Klein, the buyers are purposefully keeping themselves anonymous as they decide whether to operate the bar themselves or flip the property to someone who will. We understand that the buyers are real estate people, so either possibility seems realistic. No matter which, this corner seems destined to get a facelift, which certainly can’t hurt after three-and-a-half decades.
This isn’t exactly analogous to the Sardine Bar story, as a new business will be replacing a long-operating business rather than a vacant storefront. But the mere fact that a commercial corner was put under contract in this neighborhood after less than two weeks on the market speaks volumes about the area’s momentum and the hunger for new businesses. Or maybe the place was just underpriced, that could be it too.
Either way, we’ll be on the look out for a new drinking establishment on this corner in the coming year, and look forward to hearing more details about the buyers’ plans. Considering this spot, Sardine Bar, and the strong likelihood that Munson Manor will be reopening at some point in the near future, this stretch of Federal Street will have a whole new feel to it very soon.
Who’s in for a Federal Street bar crawl for NYE 2013?