Standardized Wholesale Liquor Co.

also known as Clubs Monet and Van Gogh

A narrow 3-story building built as infill when rail lines were removed in the Provisions Warehouse District. Most recently a set of nightclubs.

About this Property

Last Tenants

This narrow but deep 3-story brick building was home to a few different incarnations of dance clubs over the past decade or more. Namely Club Monet and Van Gogh Lounge, two impressionist-artist-inspired themes. The changeover from Monet to Van Gogh happened in 2013. After a few violent incidents, including a fatal shooting, the city Board of Licenses revoked Monet Lounge’s liquor license. The nightclub changed its name to Van Gogh Lounge and format to play dance music instead of hip-hop music, as Monet did previously. Additional problems with violence occurred under the Van Gogh name up until 2016. The club finally closed sometime in 2017 (based on the latest Yelp reviews).

Succumbing to graffiti and broken windows, the property has been listed on the 2021 and 2023 Ten Most Endangered Lists because of its rapid decay.

Current Events

According to some recent news, Strive Realty has purchased the property and is conducting investigations into creating housing or a boutique hotel.

History

From the “Industrial Sites and Commercial Buildings Survey (ICBS)” by PPS and the AIA, 2001-2002

(Documented as part of 119 Harris Avenue) Attached to the east is a large, rectangular, three-story, brick block (113 Harris Avenue; 1920s) with a concrete foundation notable for its chamfered corner on Harris Avenue. The building is embellished with concrete bands outlining floors and the chamfered corner. An oversized, recessed opening features wood stairs and ramps. The building’s main entrance is comprised of a metal-and-glass door flanked by single-light sidelights and set below a single-light transom. Fenestration is comprised of rectangular openings with multi-light metal sash windows. The building’s easternmost side is contoured to the railroad tracks. These buildings are extant remnants of the eastern Promenade District’s history as a railroad hub.


From the Provisions Warehouse Historic District nomination form, 1994

Adjoining the Brownell and Field Building on the north side of Harris Avenue is the Standard Wholesale Liquors Co. Building (1937) at 115 Harris Avenue. The original function of this building was as a wholesale liquor business. Little ornamentation adorns the flat-roof, rectangular, three-story, brown-brick warehouse structure with a rail spur against its eastern wall. To the west, it lies adjacent to the Brownell & Field Co., 119 Harris Avenue.

Unlike any of the other buildings in the district, it does not have sheltered loading platforms either for freight or truck use. Instead, the facade is open to Harris Avenue with a recessed, integral loading area to accommodate trucks. A platform lies at the back wall of the loading space. Horizontal-pattern decorative brick work tops this opening and the corner entrance. Cast-stone, in narrow bands, is the only ornament and serves as the running course between the second and third-story steel sash windows. The cast-stone band also serves as the cornice defining the roofline and the corners of the Harris Avenue facade. In simple contrast, the rail elevation is unadorned with running bond brick punctuated by nine-pane steel sash on the second story and six-pane sash on the third. The foundation is of running bond.

In the News

It was a vital Providence warehouse, then a problematic nightclub. Now a developer has new plans.

by Alexa Gagosz
Boston Globe | January 31, 2024 (abridged)

The three-story brick building at 115 Harris Ave., known historically as the Standard Wholesale Liquors Co. building, was purchased for $450,000 by 115 Harris LLC, a subsidiary of local development and property management firm Strive Realty, during a foreclosure auction in October 2022, according to city real estate records.

The historic property, which the Providence Preservation Society has listed among the city’s most endangered properties, was initially built in the 1920s, and has been largely vacant for nearly seven years since the Van Gogh lounge permanently closed in 2017.

Strive’s general counsel, John T. Longo, told the Globe that the company has turned on temporary power in the building and is in the “due diligence” phase of its pre-development plans. If redeveloped into housing, the property could fit 23 units throughout the long, rectangular warehouse, he said.

“We don’t have to decide just yet” between housing and a hotel, said Longo on a call with the Globe Tuesday. “The difference between the two is for a hotel, you have to add some space on the third floor for amenities and on the bottom floor for the lobby. But we’re not leaning toward one or the other right now.” […]

Longo said Strive has “engaged” an architect, spoken to the Providence Historic District Commission about exterior renovations, and worked with civil and structural engineers for “needed repairs to the masonry.”

Longo said the project, which does not yet have deadlines for development or construction, will likely cost “millions,” but “not tens of millions.” The company’s next step is to file development plans to the city’s planning commission for approval. Longo said permits likely won’t be filed for “many months.”

“We don’t have a final cost for the structural repairs, but we were just told it will cost $100,000 for the front windows to be historically accurate,” said Longo, who detailed a “completely gutted” interior. “The boiler, pipes, and copper wiring had already been taken out of there.”

In 2021, there was a small fire in the empty, graffiti-covered building, leaving some of the beams charred by the front loading dock, but the fire did not cause any structural damages, Longo said. […]

Other proposed developments in the area have struggled to get off the ground — including a proposal for nearly 400 residential units at the site of the former Providence Fruit & Produce Warehouse, which is across the street from Strive’s property. The developer, the Carpionato Group, first proposed a larger development with nearly 500 units in 2016. But plans never moved forward.

Earlier this month, bar and live music venue Dusk permanently closed its doors on Harris Avenue after 14 years in business.

“Changes are coming” to Harris Avenue, said Longo. “If it wasn’t for the interest rates being as high as they were, I would have expected a lot of projects — ours, the Carpionatos’ — to have started by now. When they lower, I expect some bigger development to start.”