Like Railgarten, a restaurant under construction on Broad Avenue plans to use metal shipping containers in its design.
And like Railgarten, The Liquor Store — we'll explain the name later — has geographic, historical and practical reasons to incorporate rail vessels into its site plan.
But unlike Railgarten, The Liquor Store's developers sought and received permission before putting the containers in place.
The Board of Adjustment last week approved allowing the diner to put two shipping containers behind its building. They'll sit in an L-shaped configuration to help form a courtyard and provide space for storage and kitchen prep.
At the same meeting, the Board of Adjustment declined to retroactively approve Railgarten's metal containers, letting stand for at least another 30 days Code Enforcement's "Do Not Occupy'' order for parts of Railgarten that include also a container-lined backyard.
The Liquor Store owner Lisa Toro plans a much cleaner opening when renovation for her new diner is complete by August.
"It is a bit of an example of 'permission versus forgiveness'' on that,'' Toro said. "We're trying to follow that process and do it in the right way and avoid controversy.''
There's no avoiding Lisa Toro on Broad Avenue. Two years ago, she and her husband Luis Toro opened City & State, the combination artisan store and coffee shop, at the corner of Broad and Collins. Now they're staking the other corner — Broad at Maris — of the same block by converting the long-vacant Broad St. Liquor store into a three-meal-a-day diner.
The 67-year-old building is small — 1,382 square feet — but features such architectural detailing as a set of small, ornate windows, a roof line edged in terracotta, and neon "liquor'' signs so classic that they are inspiring the unusual name for an eatery.
"We really wanted to pay homage to the building and what the neighborhood knows of the building and what the neighborhood references the building as, which has always been 'the liquor store,'" Toro said.
The old signs reflect the old Broad Avenue business district, she said, so they embraced them and the name.
"We had fun with it. We want to play on it. It's 'Where do you want to go for breakfast? I want to go to The Liquor Store. Where do you want to meet for lunch? Let's go to The Liquor Store'.
"So it's meant to be a little tongue in cheek, really playful.''
The food will be fun, as well as straightforward, too, Toro said.
"Locally sourced and fresh. Pancake and eggs and bacon and biscuits in the morning. And lunch, great sandwiches and soups and salads. Same thing for dinner... We're doing some favorite retro dishes, like a throwback shrimp cocktail and an appetizer that involves aged cheese ball with crackers.''