Norfolk

Greenies in Ocean View set to start being demolished next week

City to reach out to community to figure out what is next

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) -- It's almost officially the end of an era in Ocean View.

The iconic Greenies bar that's sat at the end of 1st View Street for decades will begin to be demolished next week, according to Norfolk City Manager Doug Smith. 

Greenies closed its doors for good back on Sept. 10, just months after Norfolk announced it was buying the nearly century-old property at 196 W. Ocean View Avenue for $2 million in an effort to redevelop the Ocean View area. 

"It’s time to say goodbye to the Oldest continuous operating Bar in Virginia. We are grateful for the years of loyal support from our Friends and Party-Goers," the bar announced in August on its Facebook page, as petitions from loyal patrons circulated in an attempt to save the bar. 

Initial reports surrounding the acquisition hinted the Greenies property would be converted into a parking lot, but a city spokesperson told 10 On Your Side back in August that the reports were inaccurate.

"It's included in the plan to increase the parking, provide some residential opportunities to maximize the value of the land, then provide for some commercial activity whether it's retail or restaurant or something like that," said George Homewood, Norfolk's Director of Planning.

He made the announcement Tuesday as part of a City Council tour of Ocean View. 

"So now we have this opportunity to bring [the Greenies site] back to the community and say what do you want this to look like?" said Councilman Tommy Smigiel, who represents Ocean View. "The mayor talked about more beach access. How do we make all of that work?" 

The city says it will work with residents on the future of the five-parcel site, and the site of the Oceanview Diner and Beach Pub on E. Ocean View Avenue, which were bought for $350,000 and $1 million respectively. 

Smigiel said he very much is in favor of more waterfront dining.

"Gosh I don't know if anyone owns the rights to Greenies but they could call it Greenies if they want to," Smigiel said. "It's about restructuring it, rebuilding it."

The city isn't anti-tradition, they just wanted a more positive, eye pleasing image according to Smigiel. 

"There are people who are saying we don't want to be known as a place where there are prostitutes and you can get mugged," Smigiel said. "That's some of the unfortunate history. The old style cottages that they have here in Ocean View and traditional neighborhoods like Bayview where people want to live, they want their kids to go to school. That's what we want to continue supporting."


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