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Capital One vows to preserve Carytown building eyed for new “banking café”

The financial services company plans to move into the building formerly occupied by Secco Wine Bar.

Trevor Dickerson

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The Carytown Merchants Association posted an open letter to the community following the announcement that Capital One plans to bring one of its “banking café” concepts to the shopping and dining corridor, where Secco Wine Bar once operated. The financial services conglomerate has built similar locations–which are a hybrid of a coffee shop, workspace, and bank–in several other cities. This location would be Richmond’s first.

Camille Bird, president of the association, posted the following on the group’s Facebook page:

As President of the Carytown Merchants Association I would like to welcome you to the neighborhood.  I’m sure you chose Carytown for it’s many unique and appealing qualities.  We hope you will opt to preserve the character and charm of this historical meeting place in Richmond.

“Richmond’s first shopping center is still a bustling Mecca of consumerism. Cary Court, in the Carytown area, first opened in 1938. The Byrd Theater, a National Landmark, is an excellent example of turn of the century opulence, and Carytown’s unique shops and restaurants add charm and activity.” (*From The Official Tourism Offices: Richmond, Virginia – A City of Monuments).

Capital One Café we ask you this simple question:  Did you choose Carytown to be a part of our community or to be apart from the community?  The deal you struck already pushed three longtime Carytown merchants (or as we call them family) from their shop homes.  We hope you will take more care for the community when you make decisions about that beautiful 100+ year old piece of history you are threatening to bull doze.

I would love to have coffee with you at any number of the delightful locally owned cafes in Carytown.

While it was previously reported by the Richmond Times-Dispatch that the building would be razed, the bank has responded to many people, myself included, saying this is not the case:

We’ll continue to follow this story as new details emerge.

Photo: Capital One 360

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Trevor Dickerson is the Editor and Co-Founder of RVAHub.