Roderick Pullum
The Crown & Harp was a haven for music lovers and dive barflies from 1997 to 2017.

Something New Is Coming to the Old Crown & Harp, and It Feels Like a Lower Greenville Metaphor

Six months ago, 20-year-old bar and music venue the Crown & Harp closed its doors for good, also effectively closing the book on Lower Greenville's chapter as a place to go for cheap drinks, laid-back dives and live music. The space has been vacant ever since.

Now, a pair of business owners have announced a new business in its place, and if this isn't a metaphor for all the changes on Lower Greenville, I don't know what is. Sameer Patel and Patrick Bruce, the business partners behind nearby Feed Company Eatery and Bourbon Lounge, announced the new concept this week: Leela’s Raw Bar & ABV Establishment. (Yes, that is its real name.) Via a press release:

Located at 1914 Greenville Avenue in the space formerly home to The Crown & Harp pub, Leela’s & abv is a multi-faceted upscale dining and drinking concept, including a raw bar and wine bar on the first floor and speakeasy style craft cocktail bar on the second floor.

The first floor Leela’s Raw Bar is inspired by Napa Valley, and will serve seasonal, market-driven plates and oysters from throughout North America in an open-air, bright interior featuring an oyster shucking station and meat slicing counter.

Upstairs, ABV Establishment will serve prohibition-style cocktails and light snacks (like flavored popcorns and sliders) in a sultrier space, featuring an independent street-level entrance complete with cheetah-print staircase and grand chandelier.

The comprehensive beverage program at Leela’s & abv will include 20 classic cocktails and 25 wines on tap.

Raw bar, "upscale dining and drinking," a "speakeasy style craft cocktail bar," "prohibition-style cocktails" — the release reads like a 2017 restaurant trend generator. The only things missing are mention of an open kitchen and white subway tiles.

Crown & Harp hung in there for years after Lowest Greenville shifted to become the neighborhood that it is today, one with bars that close at midnight, expansive rooftop patios serving frozen rosé and a Trader Joe's.

The old Lowest Greenville has long been dead, but Leela’s Raw Bar & ABV Establishment feels like the final nail in its coffin.

Beth Rankin is an Ohio native and cicerone-certified beer server who specializes in social media, food and drink, travel and news reporting. Her belief system revolves around the significance of Topo Chico, the refusal to eat crawfish out of season, the importance of producing food responsibly and an aversion toward people who describe themselves as "award-winning."