Annex: Restaurant, brewery and music venue coming to St Ann’s Church in Norfolk

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A combination restaurant, brewery and live music event space is set to sprout in the former Five Points Community Farmers Market building on Church Street in Norfolk.

Year-round Farmers Market and Cafe at 2500 Church Street featured in a 2011 episode of Diners, Drive-ins and Dives but the market closed back in 2017. An elite culinary staff has taken its place and will be relocating.

The space’s successor, The Annex, got a 7-1 thumbs up Tuesday night from the Norfolk City Council, with borough council members Mamie Johnson and Danica Royster speaking in support. Johnson said she met someone from Annex last summer and had a “good conversation.”

Future site of The Annex (courtesy of the City of Norfolk)

“I want to say thank you for bringing a bold, innovative, out-of-the-box plan to a community where it’s desperately needed to build a business, a great business,” Johnson said. Royster added that she had also “heard good things” about the business.

The Annex is the brainchild of longtime local concert promoter and Norfolk resident Josh Coplon and the guys from Veteran-owned Young Veterans Brewing Company and his oceanfront Bunker Brewpub.

Kaplan, who will handle the musical part, said in meeting of the Norfolk Planning Commission on December 15 that the location is “something our community has desperately needed for years.”

Coplon Lava Presents Promotions also has shows at other Norfolk Rail District locations, at Toast at 2406 Colonial Ave., and at Maker’s Craft Street Brewery on Church Street at 735 E 23rd Street, but he said that “outside NorVa. [which holds about 1,500] Norfolk hasn’t had a proper small music venue for many years.’

He says the new venue will host shows of “all shapes and sizes,” from local acts to national touring acts. Caplon says a sold-out indoor show can hold 380 people, and outdoor events a few times a year can double that number.

Here’s a breakdown of the capacity for each configuration:

Extension Capacity by Configuration (Courtesy of the City of Norfolk)

The venue may also remain open to the public while the event is taking place, depending on the size of the show, because it will be divided into a dining room and an event room. The space can also serve as a banquet hall for private events.

Entertainment and alcohol sales will be shut down at midnight seven days a week, according to the city’s conditional use permit. They also got permission to brew beer on Church Street.

One of the challenges that arose as part of the project was parking, with only around 35 dedicated on-street parking spaces.

“For larger events, I recognize it will put a little more strain on neighborhood parking, but there’s plenty of street parking deep in the neighborhood,” Coplon said, noting that nearby businesses in the neighborhood are usually closed. before the evening shows.

He says he has also talked to nearby business owners about providing additional parking for special events.

Lana Walcott, who owns the space, said she had a lot of people wanting to rent it and she “did her homework.”

“I even take my grandchildren to their restaurant on the beach and it’s their favorite. They want to go out, they want to go to the Bunker. It’s clean, it’s beautiful, it’s wonderful…top notch, top notch,” adding that she owns half of Meineke’s property next door and is working to give them “all the parking they need.”

WAVY has reached out to Coplon to find out when the venue will open and for more details. He said they’re not quite ready to make an announcement at this point.

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