Krazy Fish, Walgreens enter property battle

Business seeks community support in bid to purchase building

by Peter Engels    peteranthonyengels@gmail.com
Published: February 3, 2014 in News

krazyfish

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Another locally-owned business could soon be on the corporate chopping block as Walgreens seeks to purchase the parcel of land currently occupied by Krazy Fish in Plaza Midwood.

George Prisco, owner of the eclectic Krazy Fish restaurant, is working to save his business as Walgreens has offered to purchase the property from landowner Bobbye Howell. Walgreens has already purchased the neighboring daycare property, and the addition of Krazy Fish would give Walgreens the 1 acre of land needed to build a retail pharmacy on Central Ave.

Prisco also owns Central Station, a popular gay bar on Central Ave. a few blocks away from Krazy Fish.

Howell has given Krazy Fish first priority to purchase the property for $250,000. Prisco has until June to provide a down payment of $70,000. Otherwise, Walgreens will seek to purchase the property and pay the remainder of Prisco’s lease.

Krazy Fish general manager Venus Morales has launched both an online petition and fundraising campaign to prevent Walgreens from acquiring the land and driving Krazy Fish out of business. As of Jan. 30, the petition contained 90 signatures and $145 had been raised.  Morales plans to deliver the petition to the Charlotte City Council and seek support from the city.

“Local businesses need rallying of the community to succeed,” said Morales, “and Plaza Midwood is about the ‘unique.’”

Supporters say businesses such as Krazy Fish that add the “unique” flair that have made the neighborhood attractive to residents and businesses.  Morales reports the restaurant has received an outpouring of support from their neighboring businesses.

There are already two CVS/pharmacy locations on Central Ave., as well as a Giant Genie Pharmacy across the street from Krazy Fish and Moe’s Pharmacy at Central and The Plaza, which opened three months ago. An official with Walgreens’ real estate development division could not be reached for comment on the selection of this location.

Aside from petitions and donations, Morales says the best thing the community can do at this time is to make people aware of the situation and visit the restaurant. “Stop in for food or a drink, bring your friends, introduce them to Krazy Fish.”

Walgreens’ attempted purchase of the property follows attempts last year to oust the popular Thirsy Beaver bar from its location near Central Ave. and Hawthorne Ln.

Krazy Fish’s petition can be found at http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/help-save-krazy-fish and donations can be made securely at http://www.gofundme.com/helpsavekrazyfish or in person at the restaurant.