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VOL. 133 | NO. 75 | Friday, April 13, 2018

The Liquor Store Eatery Doubling Capacity

By Andy Meek

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One of the Broad Avenue district’s newest restaurants is about to get bigger, just in time for patio season. After the Broad Avenue Art Walk wraps this weekend, come Monday, April 16, The Liquor Store at 2655 Broad Ave. will open its patio space, almost doubling the diner’s seating capacity from 42 to 78.

It’s a big move for the restaurant with the quirky name, which the husband-and-wife team of Luis and Lisa Toro opened only a few months ago. The patio was always part of their plans for the space, but they “wanted to first get our feet under us,” Lisa Toro explained, and give the team time to get settled before increasing the capacity.

“It’s a small kitchen with limitations, so we have to make every move count,” she added. “We were also holding out for some quality patio weather, which we think we’re about to start seeing.”

The Liquor Store, 2655 Broad Ave., will nearly double its seating capacity when the diner opens up patio space Monday, April 16. (Daily News File/Houston Cofield)

Growth at the Toros’ diner – which they founded partly as a complement to other Broad Avenue businesses like the retail shop City & State, which they also own – comes at a time when there’s plenty of other stories just like this one all around the district.

Pat Brown, co-owner of T Clifton Art & Framing Gallery, at 2571 Broad, said The Liquor Store alone has helped juice foot traffic to businesses like hers and others in the area.

At the same time, there’s also been a flurry of retail news around the neighborhood. One example is Found Memphis, a vintage thrift and consignment shop that’s reopening this weekend in a new location, at 497 N. Hollywood St. That’s just around the corner from its previous shop.

The district also has several new entrepreneurs with spaces of their own.

Vice & Virtue Coffee, at 482 N. Hollywood, is an artisan roaster of specialty-grade coffees from owners Teri and Tim Perkins. Artistic floral design venture Everbloom Designs, owned by Kristin Wolter-Canfield, is at 2489 Broad, and coming in June is Core Collective Broad from owner Jenna Goode at 2529 Broad, which will offer total body workouts.

All that comes as the district is also starting to see major new development activity, as well. Former MAA executive James Maclin and Loeb Properties Inc. owner Bob Loeb have teamed up on what’s slated to be a massive mixed-use project on the 8.5-acre piece of land where the iconic Broad Avenue water tower is attached to a vacant World War II-era warehouse.

According to the plans, the project will feature roughly 400 apartment units and around 10,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space. Multifamily use, Loeb told The Daily News in recent days, brings a final piece that can “take Broad Avenue to the next level.”

While all this is going on, Broad Avenue stakeholders are likewise taking a holistic look at what else needs to happen in the district, thinking about how to fill any remaining gaps to make sure the neighborhood and its signature street have everything needed to draw residents, foot traffic, businesses and more.

“One of the key findings from our Broad Avenue 2020 strategic planning process is the need for more public spaces in the area, for people to linger and enjoy the Broad Avenue vibe,” Brown said. “One of our goals is to increase our outdoor spaces along Broad Avenue, to enrich the urban experience.”

She brings up the Toros’ diner, citing the new Liquor Store patio as one example of this, “by being open to the public and offering a fantastic view of the district’s water tower. It will be a very tasty and artsy place to hang out.”

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