Focus 2020: Kearney Unique

The renovation above McCue’s is .... Before Patrick and Katie Moore could transform the former McCue’s Grocery building into a modern taproom and upscale Airbnb, the building had to be gutted and structurally repaired. That cleared the way for some remarkable improvements. Airbnb great for short stays Sunset approaches, downtown entertainment and cultural venues await. You enter the two-story Airbnb via an orange door at street level. By MIKE KONZ Hub Enterprise Editor KEARNEY — Crowbar or hammer in hand, archi- tect and entrepreneur Patrick Moore tries to be a good listener when he’s working on an old building. Two years ago when McCue’s Nebraska Tap- room opened on the ground floor of the former family grocery store building, it was a testament to the value of good listening because he heard what the old place was telling him. This fall, when Moore completed the renovation of the building’s top two sto- ries into an upscale Airbnb, it again proved the value of listening. “I had an idea in my head what I was going to do, but as we started tear- ing things out, my mind changed quite a few times. Until you’re actually letting the space speak to you, you don’t know,” Moore said about restor- ing the for- mer McCue’s Grocery store, built at 2008 Avenue A in 1907. With its top three floors now gleaming with the glow of modern decor and the patina of age, the old build- ing teaches something about Kearney’s past. Also, it’s among the structures setting the course for downtown Kearney’s future, Moore said. He is among a group of young entrepreneurs who are gutting historic down- town buildings and repur- posing them for new lives as boutiques, coffee houses, offices and event centers to name a few. “There are so many buildings in downtown Kearney with so much potential,” said Moore, referring to plans for his restoration of the Fair Building near the inter- section of Central Avenue and North Railroad Street. Several offices are housed in the structure now, but Moore plans to turn it into smaller apartments for ten- ants who want to discover the benefits of downtown living, within walking dis- tance of shopping, dining, culture and entertainment. After standing vacant several years after the fam- ily closed its grocery store, Buffalo County purchased the McCue’s building and nearly razed it for a park- You choose: refreshing shower or soothing soak. Patrick Moore AIRBNB, PAGE 9 A long time coming The two-story Airbnb features a lot of open space and carefully selected decor to highlight the contrasts between the patina of age and the glitter of modern appointments. Natural sunlight enlivens colorful window frames (photo above), while an oversize basin (photo below) commands its space. “ A lot of times it’s not like you’re discovering problems, you’re discovering opportunities. ” Patrick Moore on restoring old buildings ing lot. Alley Rose owner Shawn Engberg bought the old store and later sold it to Moore, whose career as an architect and resto- ration expert convinced him that tearing out the old and crumbling parts would expose the building’s good bones. “We did the taproom first, then the retail space on the north. When those were finished, I built the apartment on the second and third floors. The two-story apartment encompasses about 1,700 square feet, has two bed- rooms, two baths and has Katie Moore