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Thursday, July 15, 2010 12:59 am

POINTING THE WAY

It’s not pretty, but it works, says Jeremy Thomas about a spray-painted, plywood sign pointing customers toward Norb Andy’s Tabarin.

About seven months after Thomas and his business partner opened the pub last October, crews demolished Capitol Avenue between Fifth and Sixth Streets, where Norb Andy’s sits.

Thomas says that before construction began business was growing by about 10 percent each month, but after crews broke ground in May he lost about half of his customers.

“I did that as a joke one day,” Thomas says about the sign, “but it actually made a significant difference.” He says that frequent live music has kept patronage steady and the pub afloat.

While the building the pub is in now has a new owner who’s planning to open a restaurant and inn, Thomas says that can only help his business by bringing in additional customers. An art event scheduled for this weekend in the structure, The Virgil Hickox House, might do the same [see page 22].

In the meantime, Thomas is hoping Capitol Avenue will be ready by the time the state fair opens in August.

“We’re just kind of hanging in there hoping it gets done sooner than later,” he says.
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