SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - Shovels, confetti and a toast helped mark the groundbreaking Wednesday for the renovation of the Arlington Hotel in downtown Shreveport.
It’s a dream come true for the owners, Drs. Andrew Larson and Lindsey Pennington.
'We wanted to do something that was going to be more of family business that we could hand down to our daughter and something that really invests in and provides for the city of Shreveport," Pennington said.
“When we saw the building, we instantaneously fell in love," she continued. “We started finding out more about the history, especially the Prohibition era. That’s what really helped us become excited about the idea of doing a speakeasy or distillery.”
The project fits into the revitalization of the Shreveport Common area. Leaders are excited about its potential impact.
“This is now an anchor for (the) area," said Wendy Benscoter, Shreveport Common’s, executive director. "All these properties that right now don’t have businesses in them have been renovated by their owners who have been waiting for somebody like the Larsen-Penningtons to come in and do a big project like this.”
“This is huge asset for downtown Shreveport for that metropolitan vibe we are trying to have down here so that can attract people to our community like the many cities across the country have been doing,” Mayor Adrian Perkins said.
In April, KSLA News 12 reported on some the designs for the project.
Demolition of the building is underway as crews clean out the inside and get this historic property ready for its new life.
The owners are working with state and federal historical preservation officials.
The goal is to have the restaurant open by March 2020 and the distillery by July 2020, the owners said.
Plans call for the distillery to have grain-based alcohol such as vodka, gin and moonshine.