One doesn’t make investments of this size without great confidence that past success and customer traffic mean not only can the dollars be regained but also a profit made from them. Blumberg plans to turn about 2,500 square feet of now-hidden mezzanine into additional seating for 100-140, plus convert another 3,000 square feet upstairs into an apartment, but most interesting of all he intends to restore the front of the building to the look it had long ago, including bringing back 10 windows now covered by a façade.
It’s impossible to drive down Victorian-look Broad Street and not wonder what might be hiding behind some of the “modern” façades of perhaps the 1950s era that were added for a “contemporary look” before somebody caught on that “antique” has better drawing power. Some few of the buildings along Broad are entirely “modern,” but a lot just look that way because somebody slapped aluminum siding or stucco on the outside.
Maybe this sort of investment in reinforcing the look of “olden days” will become a trend. Say, wasn’t a previous occupant of The Partridge (once the Gordon Theater) at one time thinking of getting rid of that façade? Downtown leaders might consider doing a study of just what visual treasures may lurk out of sight along Broad Street.