‘The Googie’ Will Need Melrose Support

20170904_104215If restaurateur Rebecca Golden can have her way, she’ll serve Melrose-ians coffee, breakfast, lunch, dinner, cocktails, and some won’t even have to leave their car.

“I think a good spot has to offer a lot of diversity,” she said in an interview with T.M.L. “And this neighborhood has a lot of diversity.”

Golden filed documents with the City of Phoenix Thursday to adapt the “Melrose Liquors” building into a new neighborhood bistro.

Two days later, the iconic pink and cyan parallelogram was coated in a single shade of beige, which Golden said she didn’t do. (Read article: “No More Pink!?!”)

“I think people enjoy trying different places,” Golden said. “We have to try to draw business to the community together.” According to her, the formerly pink and cyan parallelogram has been held in escrow while she arranges funding and approvals.2018-01-06 15.28.46

The building, built in 1957, garnered national attention last summer when a thousand people signed a petition to prevent its demolition.

The name, if not today’s paint scheme, refers to the mid-century-modern/ space-age theme also evoked in the facades of retail across the street. It can also be found in Copper Star Coffee and the former Paris Laundry down the way, as well as hints in P.B. Bell’s new “The Curve Luxury Apartments” next door.

“I feel the building really named itself,” Golden said laughing. “Half the people at (the June city meeting) were defending it, saying ‘but it’s a Googie‘ and the rest were asking ‘what’s a Googie?

Rather than fight City Hall, owner P.B. Bell entered into contract with Golden. “Honestly, we’re happy about (The Googie),” said Mike Truman, Bell’s V.P. of Development in an interview with T.M.L. last fall. “We really want to be a good neighbor.”

Truman’s company will open five stories of apartments directly behind Golden’s proposed Googie in February. Bell acquired the vacant land – the Melrose liquor store was included – in 2013. Truman Said the 2017 demolition attempt was the result of negotiations with the City. “Personally, I knew that was a mistake,” he said. “But, I was outvoted (by Bell’s Board).”

Bell went back to the table with those who submitted offers. Truman said they were very careful considering offers from end-users who wanted to buy the building. “Rebecca’s not like other restaurant developers,” he said. “At the end of the day, it’s still our front door.”

Bell confirmed Tuesday they painted over the hot-pink. The building is not designated a historic landmark and can still be demolished.

Golden founded the highly successful 32 Shea in North Phoenix in 2011. She said she was inspired by the first Postino that opened in Arcadia over 15 years ago.  For now, she is playing her cards very close as to what “The Googie” will look like, and what exactly will be on her menu, but she is very excited about “The Googie.”

2018-01-06 15.28.03Still funky, the building needs complete renovation inside. It doesn’t even have a kitchen yet, and Golden wants to build a patio on its north side. “To really be a community hub it has to have a patio,” she said. “That’s just natural to me.” She also envisions music and outdoor patio games, and will “of course” let patrons bring their dog. She is also adament on keeping the drive-through window.

Many of her ideas are subject to approval by the City.

The unusual wedge-shaped lot where 6th Drive meets the curve in 7th Avenue will require a zoning adjustment for parking, traffic, a drive-through, outdoor recreation, and alcohol near a residential area. Golden hopes activists who spoke out last year to save the building will speak up when it’s her turn for approvals.

A hearing is scheduled for February 15th at 1:30 p.m. in City Hall.

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