The iconic Central Liquor sign, which has been completely removed from its home at 9th and F Streets in Penn Quarter, has been sold to the owner of Comet Ping Pong, the cool and quirky pizza restaurant at Connecticut and Nebraska, NW.
Yesterday, my fellow history blogger, John DeFerrari of Streets of Washington, noticed that the sign was completely missing:
Central Liquor sign before and after - Photo by John DeFerrari
This morning, I spoke to Robin Mathews, a representative for Stavins & Axelrod, the owners of the building. She told me that her company recently had the icon removed and shipped to its purchaser, James Alefantis, owner of Comet Ping Pong and collector of vintage signs. No word yet on what Mr. Alefantis plans to do with it.
As you may remember, the building that featured the sign changed hands earlier this year, and the new occupants, Joe’s Souvenir, applied to HPRB to make some changes to it. The Central Liquor sign probably dates to 1936 when the already established Central Liquor was purchased by a new owner. As the store moved to different locations over the years, from 518 9th Street to the Victor Building at 724-726 9th Street to its current location, the sign went along with it.
We here at the location were worried that the sign was in a dumpster somewhere, so are happy to hear it is intact and safe.