"What (the *%#^ ) was that?"
I swear I thought a helicopter had crashed into the building or a bomb had gone off. Moments later, we are on our balcony along with a dozen or so other confused residents, peering out in search of an explanation.
Hillary and I had already been up earlier this morning, so it didn't take us much time to hop in the car and head out in search of answers. (Way back when we did that kind of thing).
The conclusion: NV Energy substation at 1004 S Main St had an explosion, rocking several blocks of downtown in each direction.
While many surrounding storefronts lost their windows and others had structural damage from the blast, ours at 1104 S 3rd St, is not in the shockwave path and our shop is OK- so we head up to Pancake House for some Sunday breakfast, while searching for and sharing on social media all of the crazy events of our morning.
After breakfast, in search of some trouble, I recall that our friend Brenda bartends right across the street at Meatheads. After a quick recon, we see her truck in front, and decide to head on over.
As happenstance would have it, after maybe 30 minutes or so, Mayra Politis, owner of The Attic vintage store, walks in (in search of a cigarette machine). Small world, I think to myself. We had met a couple times already and Hillary recognized her right away and decided to say Hello.
It had not immediately occurred to me that The Attic is directly next door to the blast site, but it does not take long before we are briefed as to the extent of her damage. Just horrible.
To make matters worse, NV Energy quickly denies responsibility, pointing to something faulty on behalf of Southwest Gas for causing the explosion.
The next year is embroiled in combating to coerce NV Energy to "Do the right thing", yet the public protests, lawyers, bad press and community harping does little to nothing to help restore this remarkable piece of Las Vegas history.
December 2013, after 25 years at that location, Mayra sold the building to another Nevadan investor.
The (NEW) Attic recently re-opened at 1010 North Main St, (Main St/Washington Ave)
And now, after nearly four years since the 18b-Blast, progress is happening in 1018 S Main St.
We know the new owners are from Pahrump, NV. We hear that this building along with a cluster directly across the street will soon become restaurants and bars. This white-wash may not come close to the amazing murals that not only once-graced this building but also paved the way for this district to form- but it's much better than seeing it shuttered. Take a walk in 18b soon and often, you'll be amazed at the changes taking shape every day.