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4

Coffee break at the Beauvallon

Life is lonely in the Beauvallon, where every restaurant and eatery has closed up shop -- except for Aviano Coffee at 955 Lincoln Street. Nine75 is gone, Mr. Coco's is gone, Aqua is gone. (Brandon's, which closed at the end of June, has a sign up advertising its reopening on August 14.) And now Aviano and the few remaining retailers on the first floor of the beleaguered Beauvallon are about to be obscured by towers of steel and scaffolding while the building undergoes two years of repairs to the faulty stucco exterior.

But as we report in this week's Westword, the court-appointed receiver who is managing the commercial portion of the Beauvallon has an interesting theory for how the repair work will help lure in more business. "Construction should be positive, says receiver Eric Grothe. "The restaurants, coffee shops, things like that should do better during that period."

And why? All those hard hat-wearing workers will mean "more activity, more people down here," Grothe continues.

Doug Naiman, who opened Aviano back in 2006, remains unconvinced by this novel argument. "When this scaffolding goes up over my business, what's it going to look like to people walking by, driving by?" asks Naiman. "It's going to look like a place that's closed, or difficult to get to. My business is based on convenience. If I can't provide that, I'm done."

Time for a coffee break.

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