GREENSBORO, N.C. -- M'Coul's Public House is a downtown Greensboro staple and now it's expanding and opening a new event space.
From outside the entrance to M'Coul's on McGee Street, you can't even tell the building is under construction. The expansion is all happening upstairs.
But many other storefronts downtown remain empty. The owner of M'Coul's hopes this renovation can be part of a bigger pictures to revitalize the south end of downtown.
"It was always my dream and effort to preserve as much history of this building," said Simonne McClinton, the founder and owner of M'Coul's. "I think we like to tear things down too much and I think our history is important."
Crews began demolition this weekend for a new event space at M'Coul's.
"It is going to be different from the decor of the rest of the pub. It will have its own life, its own identity," McClinton said.
It will also have a separate entrance on Elm Street and its own name. McClinton is still brainstorming ideas.
She opened M'Coul's in 2001 and says Greensboro has a demand for this kind of venue.
"Irish wakes, wedding rehearsal dinners, baby showers, any kind of event," she said. "Baby showers, graduation parties, retirement parties, birthday parties, all those things we get calls all the time."
M'Coul's is a locally-owned success story, but McClinton says it's not always easy for a small business to thrive downtown.
"It is a struggle, especially being downtown has its challenges and being in an old building has its challenges," she said.
Parking is one of those issues, even though M'Coul's sits next to a lot.
"It's filled often before we even open on Saturdays," McClinton said.
The City of Greensboro plans to build up to two new parking decks to keep up with the growth.
"I'm really hoping it will be in close proximity to this end, because there are so many small businesses on this end that we really all struggle to have enough parking," McClinton said.
Despite growth in some areas of downtown, many stores that line Elm Street also remain empty.
"I really do hope for more communal spaces and places where people can come together," McClinton added. "I think that would be a wonderful evolution for downtown."
McClinton says she's not yet sure how much the entire renovation will cost. She's hoping to hold a grand opening for the new event space by May.