Planned remake of iconic Red Stable on the table
The Red Stable, which has enjoyed a storied existence in German Village, is being targeted for redevelopment.
Jeff Smith and Stevo Roksandic want to open a quirky souvenir and gift shop in the historic property at 223 E. Kossuth St.
Smith said the venue will sell one-of-a-kind gifts, including postcards, coffee mugs, coasters, jams, jellies and T-shirts. Smith, who owns DesignSmith, a marketing and rebranding firm in the village, said he will be producing much of the inventory.
"When it comes to souvenirs, they can be a little cheeky," Smith said. "We want to have quality items that appeal to tourists and the neighbors themselves."
Smith and Roksandic purchased the property, which includes a house, for $281,000. To complete the project, they need a variance from the city of Columbus. They hope to open the store this fall.
Long-term plans include building a bed-and-breakfast in the vacant 1,400-square-foot house.
The property is near Schmidt's Sausage Haus und Restaurant and Schmidt's Fudge Haus, which are major destinations in the village.
"We're going to be working together with everyone on that corner" of Kossuth Street and Purdy Alley, Smith said.
"We really want to light up that corner and make it a great tourist attraction and also offer products that are attractive to neighborhood people."
Jody Graichen, historic preservation officer for the German Village Society, said the property was purchased in 1958 by Phil and Shirley Kientz, founding members of the German Village Society, who were involved in many local activities.
The Red Stable was used to store ice and coal and later served as a horse stable. Mr. Kientz opened The Red Stable in 1970 as an art studio and gift shop and it has operated with those uses ever since. Most recently, it housed Mars Creations, a custom art and jewelry store that closed in February 2011.
"Personally, I think the building is so special because it is so ordinary," Graichen said. "There are decades of memories in that house and I'm excited to think that a new cast of characters will visit the home and experience German Village in a new way."