Owners Plan Major Upgrade for Albert’s Liquors in Hill East

Here’s PGN Architect’s rendering of the new Albert’s Liquor at 328 Kentucky Avenue, SE.

And here’s a view of the 14th Street side of the project, across from Payne School.

Here’s the Kentucky Avenue front of the building as it is today.

And a view of the 14th Street side.

Owners Plan Major Upgrade for Albert’s Liquor in Hill East

by Larry Janezich

Albert’s Liquors owners, Jorge and Blanca Ventura, plan to transform the 580 square foot building at 328 Kentucky Avenue, SE, into a new high end liquor venue which will offer wine and snacks on two outdoor patios and add a 1400 square foot, 2 bedroom, 2.5 bath living unit on two floors above the store.  The project will not be subject to historical preservation review, since it lies outside the Capitol Hill Historic District.  The store is a stone’s throw from the development of the new Safeway mixed use development under construction catty corner across D Street, SE.

PGN Architects, which is designing the building, says a Zoning Adjustment Application will come before the Bureau of Zoning Adjustment in July or September.  The plan to serve alcohol will also require an adjustment to the liquor license.


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12 responses to “Owners Plan Major Upgrade for Albert’s Liquors in Hill East

  1. Kate

    Eh, why do they keep building these ugly modern monstrosities? I know it isn’t in the historic preservation area so they don’t *have* to make it match and look nice, but is it that much cheaper than putting up a facade that matches the neighborhood?

    • Golem

      If there were an aesthetic review board comprised of competent architects, most of the new buildings in DC and Capitol Hill would never have been built. That includes the new Fragers building which was, regrettably an ugly eyesore when it was built and which the developers were forced to perpetuate.

  2. Brian

    Agree with Kate. I’ve lived here for many years. This looks like post-modern 7-11 design. TOTALLY incompatible with all the houses on the surrounding blocks. Not to mention truly ugly. It will stick out like a very sore thumb. This could blend in if they wanted it to. PGN is a talented firm. They could do much better than inflict this on a neighborhood that’s been here for close to a century and has a certain Capitol Hill style.

  3. Daryll

    The design looks better than what is there now.

  4. Liz

    What interests me is why a 2 patio liquor/snack store is necessary. Aren’t you tired of having everyone sell you booze? What’s a few noisy drunk people at outdoor tables say about the neighborhood. As for design and size, it may help integrate the design and scale of the Safeway development w the neighborhood. That’s less objectionable to me than a venue for outdoor partying in a residential neighborhood.

  5. Laura

    I live couple of blocks from Albert’s and I can’t wait to see this new building go up! I like the modern approach and I think the scale will work well considering the size of the Safeway development across the street. Great use of space for such small lot!

  6. John

    To the best of my knowledge, ABRA doesn’t issue liquor licenses that allow for liquor to be sold both on- and off-premises. Even a full service grocery store license (e.g. Whole Foods) is limited to only beer and wine. (Ed. Note: unless they restrict sales to wine and beer)

  7. Ray

    I drink so I qualify to say, “more cancer, more divorce, drunk driving etc.” just what’s needed.

  8. Geoffrey Ferrell

    Another design by U.G.L.Y. architects. stuck in the 1990’s – or something. Love the near useless spear balcony.
    “Modernistic” architects are afraid of building forms that existed before the Bauhaus and deride them as ‘historicist’ But really, they are the real historicists – both in being governed by the fear of that history and by the fact that they recycle forms themselves, from the 1950s – 1990s.

    cast off your chains guys – it’s the 21st Century, not the 20th.

  9. Nick Burger

    This is great. Nice use of an odd/small lot to added a bit of housing. Looking forward to it.