The Bank Block in Grandview was built in 1928 by Columbus developer Don Casto.
The shopping center flourished for several decades until the development of enclosed shopping venues spurred its decline.
In the mid-1970s, the complex was facing demolition, primarily due to the neglect of the property by its absentee landlords.
In 1977, brothers Mike and Tom Wagenbrenner bought the buildings with the intent of reviving the property. One of the initial tenants was located in the south end of the complex: a delicatessen started by Hubert and Helga Siefert named the Gourmet Market.
Initially, the market was a small storefront deli that also offered catering. At the time, there was no liquor license available, so Hubert and Helga went door to door in the community to lobby for a vote to allow the sale of alcohol with the goal of expanding to a restaurant. They were successful and added a restaurant to the market.
Eventually, they added a second dining area and outdoor seating (shown in this photograph) and rebranded it in 1991 as Spagio.
The Wagenbrenner brothers have been lauded as being instrumental in the saving of the Bank Block and the resulting popularity and success of the Grandview Avenue strip.
They have in turn given a great deal of credit to the Sieferts for believing in their concept and opening the Gourmet Market.
Tom Wagenbrenner died Feb. 24 at OSU's James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute at the age of 80.