Columbia's Sherlock Holmes Pub still in the dark

Published: Jan. 4, 2005 at 12:43 AM EST|Updated: Jan. 5, 2005 at 1:46 PM EST
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(Columbia) Jan. 3, 2004 - Even the legendary sleuth would have a hard time solving this one: will the Sherlock Holmes Pub ever re-open? Owner Dexter Cooper would like to know,"June 23rd, we closed and we're still closed."

The underground pub had to shut down after chunks of concrete fell from the steel support beams that were holding up the sidewalk up on Main Street. Cooper and his wife hoped that the city would be able to help out with the necessary repairs, especially since the city was in the process of streetscaping Main anyway.

The streetscape project did not include fixing the support beams. Cooper says it's a missed opportunity, "The machines were here. They could have fought over who was going to pay for it later. This was before the building got sold. They could've had it fixed by now. And we could've been open."

The building is the Palmetto Building above the pub. Developer Rick Patel wants to turn it into a 112 room hotel, "We're looking at about a year to 16 months."

In August, Patel told News 10 the renovation would save the Sherlock Holmes. Now, he's indicating the pub might be getting in the way, "A few issues, especially the basement issue."

The city isn't offering much hope either. A few months ago, the city attorney decided the portion of the pub under Main had been operating for free on a public right of way. He recommended the city reclaim the land.

Cooper is telling customers the mayor and council "haven't found time" to deal with the situation.

Dozens like Jason Watkins have signed petitions asking the city to help the pub re-open, "If you take a look at this landscape, everything's done except for this one little hole right here."

Whether Watkins and other loyal customers ever get their pub back remains a mystery.

By Jack Kuenzie
Posted 7:41pm by BrettWitt