From the sounds of it, they’re hoping for a “soft open”. Unfortunately, unless you do an “by invite only” sorta event, the internet easily turns a soft open into a pretty hardcore one in a matter of minutes! Let the frivolity begin!
From Decatur City Commissioner Patti Garrett’s email blast to the community…
According to Hugh Saxon, Deputy City Manager, a permit is being issued for the demolition of the Trackside and Fifth Earl property. This work will take place starting at 8 pm on Wednesday or Thursday of this week (Sept 1-2) and will conclude by 5 am the following morning. Because East College Avenue is a state route, a GDOT permit is also required. It appears that one travel lane will be closed but temporary pedestrian access must be maintained at all times. Once the remains of the building are demolished, work will commence on a new building.
It’s getting ready to happen: the walls of Trackside are scheduled to start coming down on Thursday evening, Sept 2nd (I don’t know the time yet). If you go to watch, please stay out of the way of the demolition guys. The best and safest place to park and watch is probably going to be across the street by the train depot (which is now the Farmstead 303 Restaurant). If you take pictures, please post them on this page.
We’ve heard this on and off for a while, but more than a year-and-a-half after a fire destroyed Trackside Tavern and 5th Earl, it now sounds like construction of Trackside 2.0 may finally be around the corner.
A reader sends along this note from Trackside owner Doc Al…
OK, OK – here’s the news: Today is the beginning of the beginning of the rebirth of Trackside! I have been keeping it quiet for a little while, but after meeting with the building owner, working with the architect, and being contacted by the contractor, I can finally say with confidence that we are very soon from seeing the old building knocked down and an ALMOST IDENTICAL one going up in its place very very soon.
Don’t Panic! A portion of the front wall of Trackside and Fifth Earl will be demolished this evening. This work is necessary because the fire earlier this year destroyed critical structural components and a segment of the front wall had pulled away from the building and was collapsing. This retail strip is made up of several individual buildings which were cobbled together over time into a small retail center. So, while Trackside and Fifth Earl appeared to be in two buildings, they actually occupied at least three individual buildings that had been joined together and then subdivided over the years. The damaged wall section being demolished includes the far right side of Trackside and the left section of Fifth Earl. The eastern-most lane of College Avenue adjacent to the building will be closed to traffic from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. as the demolition work is completed. Plans are still underway to restore the building and reopen the businesses. The demolition work marks the first step in the reconstruction.
Trackside owner “Doc Al” just wrote in with this comment to a previous post…
Yes, Trackside is definitely coming back – plans for the re-build are currently being formulated. However – it appears that quite a bit of the existing building is going to have to be demolished before it can be rebuilt, so – don’t get worried if you see bulldozers at work in the near future. The goal is to re-create as much of the old Trackside as possible along with some modern upgrades behind the scenes. Stay tuned for updates as the weeks and months go by.
Sweet. It will be interesting to see exactly how detailed they get in “recreating” the old bar.
SeniorScottie writes in with hopeful news about Trackside…
My roommate was walking by [Trackside] today, saw Jonathan and some of the others packing some stuff into storage, and asked what was up. Apparently, they got the insurance money (finally), are salvaging everything they can, and someone is going to come look at it so they can start to rebuild at the same location. No idea what the timeline is but I’m super exited.
Very good news! I assume this will be a complete rebuild?
And before someone asks, I’ve heard nary a word about 5th Earl.
UPDATE: Extra awesomeness. Daren writes in with the details…
But wait, there’s more! Immortality is within your grasp! LEON’s will create a custom drink and name it for the winner. Forever more, people will walk into this fine establishment and order up a “Your name here.” “I’ll have a Purdy.” “Give me a double Draper.” “Man, I had one too many Kells last night.” People will be cursing you behind your back for years.
Daren Wang (of Book Festival fame) and the Brick Store boys (Mike, Dave and Tom) have set up the auction on Ebay, with all the proceeds going to the Trackside/5th Earl Employee Fund. What a great idea!
Here are the details as stated on Ebay…
After months of waiting, Leon’s Full Service is ready to open. The Brick Store guys are putting the final touches on their new space for an official opening Sunday or Monday. Who gets to buy the first official pint at the new hub of our fair city? It could be you! Mike, Dave, and Tom are auctioning off the right to buy the first pint, and all the proceeds go to the Trackside Tavern/Fifth Earl Employee Fund.
The historic moment will be photographed and enshrined on the wall of Leon’s along with the first bill. This is history in the making. You’ll tell your grandkids. This will make the Inauguration look like a Concert on the Square. Mary Jane Mahan will immortalize you in the sequel to “Love at the Pub.” You’ll get to choose from the finest beer selection in the Southeast. And it’s all to help out the good folks down on College Avenue. So bid like crazy. Even in a bad economy, you’ve got to have a drink every once in a while. Why not this one? First Pint will be served at 5pm on Opening Day.
Man, what pressure!! With all the beer afficiandos around me I wouldn’t know what to pick! Whomever wins this thing better spend a few hours on BeerAdvocate to determine the best course of action.