The official word is that Kollektiv will replace Max & Erma’s in German Village.
The new concept, featuring offices on the top two floors and co-working/tavern space in the main dining room, is expected to open this fall, said Katie Murray, co-founder of Kollektiv, which is owned by a private investor.
“I think the main thing here is it’s going to be a warm, welcoming vibe here with a community focus,” Murray said.
Here’s how it’s going to work: Professionals could rent out, on either a short- or long-term basis, a “hot desk” – part of a communal table or booth – on the first floor during normal business hours Mondays through Fridays. Wi-Fi, free coffee and other amenities will be provided to promote the sense of a true office experience, Murray said.
Then, around quitting time, the doors open up to the public, who can dine on casual food and drinks. The weekends will be dedicated solely to the tavern crowd, Murray said.
She said some details aren’t clear, as architects are putting the finishing touches on the interior. No exterior changes are planned, Murray said, except for a new sign.
The building, totaling more than 7,000 square feet, was purchased for $800,000 on Aug. 21, 2017, by 739 German Village LLC.
Max & Erma’s, which operated for 45 years in the village, abruptly announced the store’s closing last year. That led to vast speculation about the building’s use. A real-estate agent representing the property at the time allowed passersby to post their preferences for a future use on the storefront’s window.
Murray said she believes the space will have less of an impact on the neighborhood, in terms of foot and vehicular traffic, than a full-service restaurant that’s open daily.
“During the day it will be less,” she said. “I think a large portion of people coming to this are going to be walking or just neighborhood folks.”
Mike Valo, who’s residence is connected to the property, said he wants to be “supportive of the right enterprise of venue in there.”
Valo said he likes the sound of a co-working space during the day and a casual, inexpensive eatery at night.
He said he doesn’t support a late-night bar with no food or a bar with food trucks parked outside to feed the patrons.
“My interest is just making sure this is an establishment that is respectful of its neighbors,” Valo said.