The bricks that rained down onto the sidewalk over the weekend are choking the walkway, but the Brackins Blues Club in downtown Maryville isn’t dead yet, building owner Walker Johnson vowed Wednesday.
“We are going to rebuild,” Johnson said. “It’s too early to give out all of the details, but the city of Maryville has given us a path to reopen pretty quickly.”
The club was closed Sunday after dispatchers received a call at 11:46 a.m. that the facade had collapsed onto the sidewalk.
The bricks also blocked the road in a section of East Broadway Avenue, requiring police to divert traffic.
“We are relieved and thankful that it happened when it did,” Johnson said. “There was no one on the street at that time. I believe in a higher power, and I believe there was someone watching out when this happened.”
A final analysis of why the facade fell and an assessment of the extent of reconstruction aren’t complete, but Johnson said the process should move quickly once the permitting phase is completed.
Johnson credited Maryville building official Gary Walker with making every possible effort to help put the building back into service.
“He’s been with us every step of the way, and he’s been at every meeting, which has helped,” Johnson said.
Further details will be revealed when the final site plan is completed, including disclosing the name of a construction company Johnson said is working on the project.
Two other businesses that are housed in the building also will return, Johnson added.
Disposing of the rubble shouldn’t be too difficult either.
Aaron Killiam of the Maryville Downtown Association said his group has requested consideration to receive the bricks for a public project.
“We are creating a butterfly pocket park to provide a gathering place for people coming downtown,” Killiam said. “We are not sure if we will be able to use them, but we hope to. We said, ‘Let’s make lemonade out of lemons out of this facade and refurbish it if we can.’”