The Annex: Restaurant, brewery & music venue coming to Church St. in Norfolk

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — The former Five Points Community Farm Market building on Church Street in Norfolk will combine a restaurant, brewery and event space for live music.

Space’s successor, The Annex, was voted 7 to 1 by Norfolk City Council on Tuesday night, with regional councilors Mamie Johnson and Danica Royster endorsing it. Johnson said he met someone at the Annex last summer and had a “good conversation.”

“I want to thank you for bringing such a bold, innovative and original plan to a community where business, great business, is sorely needed,” Johnson said. He added that he had “heard great things” about the business.

The Annex will feature longtime local concert promoter and Norfolk resident Josh Coplon, Veteran Owned Young Veterans Brewing Company Bunker Brew Pub on the oceanfront.

Coplon, who is in charge of the music side, said: Norfolk Planning Commission meeting on December 15 “What our community has desperately needed over the years is music venues of all sizes.”

Coplon’s promotions company, Lava Presents, also has shows at other venues in Norfolk’s rail district, Toast at 2406 Colonial Avenue and Maker’s Craft Brewery just above Church Street at 735 E 23rd Street, but he said: [which holds about 1,500] For many years Norfolk didn’t have a small, proper music venue.

The new venue will host shows “of all shapes and sizes,” from local artists to nationally touring artists, he said. Coplon said his sold-out indoor shows capped at 380 people, and he can double that number at several outdoor events a year.

Also, since the venue is divided into a dining room and an event room, depending on the scale of the show, it may be open to the public even during the event. Recreational and alcohol sales are closed at midnight seven days a week, subject to a conditional use permit from the city. We are also approved to brew beer at our Church Street location.

One of the issues that the project encountered was parking, with only about 35 dedicated parking spaces outside.

“We are aware that parking in the neighborhood is a little more stressful for larger events, but there is ample street parking in the back of the neighborhood,” he said at night.

He also says he’s had discussions with nearby business owners about securing additional parking in case of special events.

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

“I take my grandchildren to their restaurant on the beach and it’s their favorite. They want to get out, they want to go to the bunker. It’s first class,” she said, adding that she owns half the property in Meineke next door and is working to get “all the parking they need.”

At an informal council meeting on Jan. 10, Rep. Johnson once again praised the people behind the project, highlighting how they reached out to neighborhood civic leagues.

A year-round farmer’s market and its cafe, Five Points, Featured in the 2011 episode of “Diners, Drive-in and Dives”. However, the market closed in 2017. Elite Culinary staff has been placed in its place and relocated.

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