Come fall, Grand Avenue's large gallery and event space inside the historic Bragg's Pie Factory at 1301 W. Grand Ave. will no longer be host to its signature huge gallery shows and arts events.
According Beatrice Moore, who's owned the building since 2004, the almost 5,000 sq ft area with high, exposed ceilings and concrete floors has already been fitted with interior walls that will section the gallery into three spaces for smaller businesses or arts related tenants.
"We've owned the space for a long time," says Moore. "And while we've been able to program bigger shows and host community meetings, those events were a lot to manage ... I have other things I'd like to focus on, and I feel like splitting up the space will activate the street and it will be much nicer to have more space open for regular hours along Grand Avenue."
Moore's no stranger to owning and managing property. She's purchased, fixed up, and found tenants for most of the buildings along Grand Avenue, where she also owns and operates her arts and crafts supply store, Kooky Krafts.
When she and her partner, Tony Zahn, bought Bragg's Pie in 2004, she says the building was a mess. They tore out the original and re-poured a new concrete floor, brought the building up to code, and the space has since been home to a variety of businesses that occupy the back area including Lady Luck Tattoo, Studio 8, Modern Cat, and My Goodness Cakes.
The interior walls that section off the old gallery space are complete, and Moore says she hopes she can find a few business-minded individuals and perhaps someone looking to open another space for the community to sign leases.
Moore estimates space is about 1,660 and comes with a/c and swamp coolers, as well as a few creative neighbors and parking along the side of the building. She says interested tenants can contact her through the Kooky Krafts main phone line, (602) 391-4016.
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Annual events including the Mutant Pinata Show, the Trashy Sculpture Show, Downtown Chamber Series, Pecha Kucha, and the Coffee, Cookies and Crafts Fair will have to find new venues. Moore says she's thinking about hosting the Mutant Pinata show outdoors this year in tent space as a fundraiser for Metro Arts Institute on McDowell Road, but that she's still thinking about it.
"If we can get more people down here to open up their own places and really invest in this neighborhood and promote their own businesses, we'll see more of these little hubs of activity," she says. "That's what we need."