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Building that housed old Village Cafe hits the market

RICHMOND, Va. – A historic landmark is for sale after decades of standing empty on a popular block near the Monroe Park campus of Virginia Commonwealth University.

The first incarnation of the Village Café was at 939 W. Grace Street, opening in 1956 under the ownership of Stavros Dikos and his wife Stella.

In 1993 the Village reopened across the street and its old shell has sat empty since then, though the building owner lived upstairs. She never sold the 5,850 square-foot building, over her “own fears.

Floor plan at 939 W. Grace Street. PHOTO: Richmond property records

Floor plan at 939 W. Grace Street. PHOTO: Richmond property records

The mixed-use property, built in 1903, was listed on Sunday with a price tag of $595,000.

The building and land are assessed at $416,000, by the City of Richmond, though records show it was assessed for more in 2011.

A historic landmark is for sale. PHOTO: Richmond property records

A historic landmark is for sale. PHOTO: Richmond property records

The bustling intersection at Harrison and Grace Streets certainly holds a lot of potential for whoever invests, and the area holds a lot of nostalgia for those who remember what the 900 block of Grace Street used to look and feel like.

Plenty of people are eager to walk back through those doors, though it remains to be seen which direction an investor will tread.

The university’s heavy investment in surrounding blocks will raise the stakes, and it’s doubtful this property will be on the market long.

One of the last holdouts in this area, a block away at 813 W. Grace St., was sold earlier this year. In January, the university purchased the former Sahara restaurant, a 3,900-square-foot building,  for $2.5 million. Built in 1975, the Sahara building and site were collectively assessed at $836,000, according to city records. The property was previously owned by Konstantinos and Ekaterini Hatzigiannidis, who purchased it in 1998 for $350,000.

If you don’t remember what that block of Grace St. used to “look and feel like” you can time travel, thanks to our Video Vault.