One year after car plows into it, Richmond cafe reborn

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – In just one year, a downtown Richmond building has gone from "rubble" to "re-born."

One year ago this week, a car plowed into the Marshall Street Café. What  unfolded next, was a neighborhood spectacle that lasted for several days.

We wanted to know what's happened since then?

Gary Boss runs the Marshall Street Café, and he's back in business, which makes it easier to smile.

"I got one phone call and they said 'Your building is falling down!' Next phone was 'Somebody ran into your  building', and the phone calls just kept coming after that," Boss said as he thought back to that day.

It was June 5, 2010. An SUV had just ricocheted into the cafe's front door...slamming it with such force that the entire building started collapsing. Six people were injured. A woman's apartment was destroyed. And when it was clear that everyone would recover, Gary kept asking himself the same question.

"I guess more than anything," he said, "could we bring it back?"

Sure enough, they did. What could've been condemned was, instead, brought back to life, and musician Ernest Waller couldn't be happier.

"It felt great because my musicians, they was worrying me to death. I was excited about it because we get a  lot of engagements out of here, lot of real big engagements," Waller said.

The cafe's been open since March. About that same time, new tenants started moving in upstairs...bringing new life to this old neighborhood that Michael Engle and Andrew Taylor call home.

"It looks a lot nicer now, they've renovated it nicely, and it's been successful from what I hear," Engle said.

"It looks nice, it's classy. They got a TV in there, you can go in there on Friday and have a drink," added Taylor.

There's an intimate atmosphere and live music. And, one year later, with a couple of new support beams outside...Gary hopes the town will support it, inside.

"We're very thankful. Very thankful, and we just can't wait to let this thing continue to grow," Boss said.

Last year, police said the driver of the SUV failed to yield the right-of-way. She recovered from her injuries, and was given a ticket.

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