by Leah Small
Capital One isn't off to a great start making friends with its future neighbors in Carytown. Area business owner Camille Bird, head of the Carytown Merchants Association, is questioning the company's plans to open a cafe-bank on the corridor.
Bird accuses the company of pushing out three longtime business owners in a letter posted on the association’s site this afternoon, as first reported by NBC-12. It has started to make the rounds on social media.
You can follow the campaign on Twitter at #SAVE2933WESTCARY.
Style originally reported the bank’s plans to move into the current locations of Secco Wine Bar, Sheppard Street Antiques and an acupuncture studio.
It's still unknown whether Capital One will demolish 2933 West Cary St. or use the existing building. An article in the Richmond Times-Dispatch indicated that it would be torn down, but that information has been changed and a correction is scheduled, the reporter said.
Here’s the letter:
28 April 2016
Dear Capital One Café,
As President of the Carytown Merchants Association I would like to welcome you to the neighborhood. I’m sure you chose Carytown for it’s many unique and appealing qualities. We hope you will opt to preserve the character and charm of this historical meeting place in Richmond.
“Richmond’s first shopping center is still a bustling Mecca of consumerism. Cary Court, in the Carytown area, first opened in 1938. The Byrd Theater, a National Landmark, is an excellent example of turn of the century opulence, and Carytown’s unique shops and restaurants add charm and activity.” (*From The Official Tourism Offices: Richmond, Virginia – A City of Monuments).
Capital One Café we ask you this simple question: Did you choose Carytown to be a part of our community or to be apart from the community? The deal you struck already pushed three longtime Carytown merchants (or as we call them family) from their shop homes. We hope you will take more care for the community when you make decisions about that beautiful 100+ year old piece of history you are threatening to bull doze.
I would love to have coffee with you at any number of the delightful locally owned cafes in Carytown.
President of Carytown Merchants Association