Idea for narrow space on Alexandria's Broadway: a bar

The space at 510 Broadway had been the home of Little Darlings Children’s Boutique until it was destroyed in the Broadway fire on Feb. 25, 2020.

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The Broadway property that sits between Cowing Robards (left) and the under-construction Charlie's Bazaar could be developed into a bar/restaurant, according to the property owner, Carl Kvale. Lowell Anderson / Echo Press

A new bar and restaurant in downtown Alexandria is a possibility – if all the details can be worked out.

Realtor Carl Kvale recently purchased the small lot in the space between the new Charlie’s Bazaar that’s under construction and Cowing Robards along Broadway by Fifth Avenue. The space at 510 Broadway had been the home of Little Darlings Children’s Boutique until it was destroyed in the Broadway fire on Feb. 25, 2020 .

“I think a bar or restaurant would fit that spot nicely,” Kvale told the Echo Press on Tuesday, Nov. 30.

The space is bigger than it looks. It measures 22 feet by 150 feet, a total of 3,300-square feet, and it’s only about two feet narrower than the Raapers Eatery and Grill building, which was also lost in the fire.

When the property for Little Darling’s, which was owned by Wilhouse Properties LLC, went up for sale, Kvale said he grabbed it so he could preserve it and change the bare lot into something better for downtown.


“At first, we weren’t sure what to do with it,” Kvale said. “We started kicking around some ideas and we thought, why not build a bar downtown – a place where people could have a cocktail?”

Whether the idea materializes hinges on several factors, Kvale said, including the cost to build the bar/restaurant and getting the plans approved. He envisions topping the bar with a rooftop patio.

Kvale, who admits he and his wife, Tonia, are pretty busy with their real estate business, said he’s also open to the idea of leasing the building out to someone who could chase their dream of operating a downtown bar and restaurant.

”But if no one steps up to the plate, we will,” he added.

City Planner Mike Weber said the lot is buildable and would be suitable for any of our retail or office uses, similar to the other locations in the downtown area.

Al Edenloff is the editor of the twice-weekly Echo Press. He started his journalism career when he was in 10th grade, writing football and basketball stories for the Parkers Prairie Independent.
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