One of the many advantages of our new office location (Yes, we moved. Come see us at 812 Third St. in Platte City!) involves accessibility to downtown.
With the weather again unseasonably warm, I took the opportunity to stroll up the sidewalk to Main Street to grab a cup of coffee at Bee Creek Café. This ended up a good decision because I just so happened to run into Jack Coots as he finished up lunch.
I’d been thinking recently about the future of Wells Bank’s downtown building on Main Street. Running into the longest-tenured employee at Wells Bank — I’m guessing, but feel pretty confident in this assessment — provided an informal chance to get some insight.
In short, Coots, a former president of Wells Bank, said he didn’t know. No immediate plans have been made, but as a longtime businessman in Platte City, he offered up hope that the right solution would be found.
Wells Bank recently announced plans to vacate the downtown building while expanding its location on Branch Street. Apple Market, located adjacent to that branch, recently closed, giving the bank the opportunity to expand and consolidate operations in Platte City.
While probably a wise business decision, this leaves some worried about another vacant building on historic Main Street.
So what are the potential uses? I’ve discussed with some ideas for what would serve the community and downtown best while not allowing an iconic site, which recently underwent an external renovation leaving the building in strong condition.
Personally, I’d love for an investor to come in and use the facility to create a restaurant. The old bank vault could provide the perfect opportunity for a brewery-style eatery to move in and provide a truly unique option for Platte City.
Trust me, I have no idea how realistic this would be, but I think it sounds good in theory.
One other option would be the potential utilization of the drive-thru on the Third Street side of the building. While currently set up with tubes for bank usage, maybe a potential renovation would allow for a small operator with a quick food concept to utilize the space.
Again, someone smarter than me with more experience would have to decide the plausibility.
Bee Creek and neighboring bar The Pool Hall have excelled because they offer good food and drink in downtown locales. I even thought of Bee Creek when considering the drive-thru option because how cool would a local coffee shop that could offer services similar to those of larger competitors be?
I love coffee, so I know I would be on board.
Maybe I got too stuck on food, but those were the first ideas that came to me. I’m curious if others in the community have given thought to the future of the building and what they envision for the space downtown.
Feel free to send me suggestions. I’ll be paying attention to any developments because I continue to be a big proponent of Main Street in Platte City and hope efforts to provide revitalization continue to succeed.
Speaking of downtown, holiday lighting ceremonies are coming furious, starting with Weston last weekend and Parkville and Zona Rosa this weekend. Platte City’s annual celebration will be next week.
Check out our story on the front page for more details.
Anyway, I’m excited about the chance to photograph these celebrations for use in our upcoming annual holiday celebration. We plan to highlight images this year, focusing on pictures rather than words. Hopefully, my concept works out a little.
Part of the project will involve going into local neighborhoods and looking for the best holiday decoration displays at homes in Platte County. Hopefully, enough people have put the lights and trimmings on after Thanksgiving weekend despite all of this warm weather.
Ross Martin is publisher of The Citizen. He may be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter: @Citizen_Ross.