Built in 1908 and located between Market and Liberty Streets, the building was originally constructed as ten two-story storefronts and warehouses. Early tenants included the Crown Cork & Seal Company, John C Cooper (wholesale liquors) and saloons owned by W.B. Williams and Eugene Crocker.

During the mid-20th century, a portion of the building served as the coffee roasting plant for the Martin Coffee Company. Martin Coffee was founded by Fred and Amy Martin in 1957. At the time, East Bay Street was a waterfront industrial district. Here, specialty coffee was roasted in a two story plant for the company’s clients, including various restaurants and hotels throughout the region. Family owned and operated today, Martin Coffee Company has grown to become one of the largest and oldest independent coffee roasters in the Southeast.

Currently, the building is occupied by seven different businesses, including Myth Nightclub, Element Bistro Bar and Lounge and Live Bar. 327 East Bay LLC has proposed a $7 million redesign of the property into strip of entertainment and dining venues to complete the existing businesses.

The project will include a new second floor live music venue and event space called “The Republic”. Located adjacent to a similar venue called “Decca Live” under construction at 323 East Bay, “The Republic” will also be used for wedding receptions and corporate events. Additional restaurants and bars will be added street level.

327 East Bay LLC acquired the property for $2.85 million in 2020.

Article by Ennis Davis, AICP. Contact Ennis at edavis@moderncities.com