In 2014, the City of Danville commissioned a study titled “Housing Market Evaluation and Recommendation for Strategic Interventions” by Charles Buki. The study offered many recommendation that guide the city’s planning today. For the Old West End National Historic District, it found there were no restaurants and few places to shop. For the 1,500 people at the district’s major employer, the Danville Regional Medical Center (now SOVAH Health), there was nothing to persuade them to contribute to the neighborhood’s economy.
It was about this time that the Exxon gas and service station at the corner of Holbrook and Main went up for sale. There was some talk about turning it into a convenience store, and an offer on the property was actually made with that intention. Concerns were raised about the effects of such a transition, particularly as it was situated next door to the Danville Museum of Fine Arts and History. Local residents gathered to discuss what might be done and presented their ideas to City Council. The Commission of Architectural Review, which approves exterior changes in the district, felt that a convenience store would not be in keeping with the historic nature of the neighborhood. The deal fell through, but that meant the station was back on the market.
Two of the area’s residents, Steve DelGiorno and Rick Barker, well respected restorationists, developers, and entrepreneurs, decided to buy the building. They had several ideas for the space, but they at last decided upon a wine bar and coffee shop.
Crema and Vine opened in October of 2017 to great fanfare. The large bay doors of the old service station were preserved and an awning erected in order to offer shaded outdoor seating. The concrete floors remain, though some extensive work had to be done. The space is decorated in an Industrial Chic style that is both modern and yet fits in perfectly with the historical surroundings. The café offers premium coffees and teas, as well as a serve yourself wine bar from which you can buy wine by the ounce. Also on offer is a light menu that includes vegan and gluten free options.
Perhaps most importantly, Crema and Vine offers a much needed gathering place for the neighborhood, a feel-good space where neighbors can gather and enjoy each other’s company, and a place where those who work nearby, or who just happen to be passing through, are happy to pop in for something to eat and drink.
To add to the feel-good vibe, the café offers occasional special events. For example, Hot Asana Yoga Studio recently offered a occasional yoga class – just to keep the good energy flowing and to invite a more diverse crowd.
We love diversity in the Old West End … and we love coffee! We are so excited about this addition to our neighborhood and we are grateful to the contribution Rick and Steve have given us. We wish Crema & Vine the greatest success, and we hope to see you there soon!