Last spring, we told you about renovations taking place at 1252 S. 21st St., which was for years home to the cleverly named 1252 Crab House. We wondered whether the bar was simply sprucing up their space, or whether a new business was taking over. We were hopeful that it was the latter, as this neighborhood is still thirsty for drinking alternatives. And after yesterday, we can confirm that a new business is indeed ready here.

In the past

The other day

Yesterday, we took a tour of Madira Bar & Grill, the newest addition to the Point Breeze retail scene. It will be operated by Gary Patel, who has plenty of beer experience from running the beer store at 15th & Federal. You may remember, this was the place that sold a winning Powerball ticket last year. The new spot will essentially have two businesses in one. In the front there's a solid bottle shop which opened yesterday. Hundreds of varieties of beer are available individually or by the six pack. While the selection isn't quite at the level of the Foodery or Hawthorne's it's far and away the best selection in the area.

So many beers inside

Directly behind the bottle shop is a full service bar with seating for maybe two dozen. Sixteen beers are on tap, dozens more beers are in bottles, and a small bar menu is also available. The bar will be opening in about a week. Looking toward the future, there's a second bar upstairs and tables for perhaps another thirty people. The timing for the opening of the upstairs area, which features a couple of signed jerseys and will eventually have a large television, depends on how quickly the downstairs bar grows in popularity. There are also preliminary plans for a roof deck with seating.

We wish Gary all the success in the world at this new spot, and hope that the neighborhood embraces Madira as they have several other retail additions in the last couple of years. While the bar promises to be a nice neighborhood spot, the bottle shop could attract people from much farther out since it offers such a quality selection. Kind of makes us wonder whether they'll start mixing in some more craft beers at 15th & Federal. Could happen sooner rather than later, folks.