Changes On The Drive #21

April 30, 2013

It was a bit windy still this morning, but really it was a glorious spring day to walk down the Drive.

The still-being-renovated Far East Building between 6th and 7th doesn’t look close to being finished yet, but they are already advertising a retail outlet on the corner of 7th (where the Van East Cinema used to be) for $48 per sq.foot net.

Among new vacancies this month is the suddenly closed Fresh Slice Pizza shop at 1268.  I say suddenly because it was just advertized for sale at $140,000.  I guess they either sold or couldn’t hang on for a sale as a going concern.  As previewed last month, Ten Thousand Villages at 1204 is also newly vacant.

Older vacancies include 1181 (previously Spank’s Shoes) and 1044 which was Ewaz but is now looking like a junk store with  odd bits and pieces for sale in the window.  The south-side interior of Il Mercato mall is also still empty and, frankly, looking grim.  To help the business owners on the north side of the interior you’d think the mall owner might paper the vacant windows or something.

Closing but not yet vacant  is the Small World Store and Gallery at 2120 Commercial.

small world

There are a number of other Drive businesses for sale this month. These include:


  • Timbre at 2068, on sale for a whopping $299,000!  The lease is about $7,000 per month;


I hear that the Little Nest, just off the Drive on Charles Street, is also struggling after a huge increase in their rent.

On a more positive note, the space at 1748 that has been vacant a few months has now been filled by Lala’s On the Drive, which seems to be an upscale version of Wonderbucks across the street.


Could this be another step in the boutiquization of Commercial Drive?

Mexcal in the 1600-block has also finally opened.  They got a review of their tequilas in the Sun today.

Also newly opened, at 1046 where Tony’s Deli used to dwell, is Five Elements.

five elements

This is operated by the same folks who successfully managed the Mekong Restaurant here for more than a decade.  The new place seems to be a lot more than just a Vietnamese restaurant though.

In its third incarnation — Fettucine’s Cafe to Fet’s Bar & Grill to, now, Fet’s Whiskey Kitchen — the always popular and always inviting home of the Fergie clan is re-opening tonight at 1230 Commercial after major renovations.  There will a separate post about the new restaurant, but for those with a nostalgic bent, here are the three logos they have used over the past twenty seven years on the Drive:

Fets logos


Finally, I notice that Joe Antunes has decided to take a stand against the folks who hang out against the south wall of Joe’s Cafe.  He has published on his windows a letter he has written to the city:

joe's notice


[I want to thank my friend David for keeping his eye out for the real estate listings and passing them on to me.]

See previous Changes on The Drive editions