Name: Allyson Dalton
Title: Commercial Property Owner
Organization/Business(s): W.P. Fuller Building
What do you do on R Street and how did you get there?
I own the W.P. Fuller Building at 10th and R Streets, which houses Fox & Goose Public House, ARTHOUSE and Fuller Lofts & Offices. I’ve been here since 1970 when my Dad had The Art Company, an art gallery located in “The Building”. My Mom and Dad opened Fox & Goose Public House in 1975. I purchased Fox & Goose in 1995 and operated it for 20 years. I was able to purchase the building in 2011 and expand the restaurant. I sold Fox & Goose in 2015 in order to pursue the continued development of the building. After completing the lofts and offices project, I now live and work here.
- What attracted your firm/business/brand to the district?
In 1970, R Street was a pothole filled street lined with warehouses, industrial commercial businesses and vacant lots, but my Dad was attracted to the gritty area and the character it imbued. Beginning with The Art Company, an art gallery, and later building out and opening Fox & Goose, my Dad appreciated the character and proximity to the Capitol, along with cheap rent! Literally growing up on R Street, I have a deep and abiding appreciation for the area, the people and the character of the buildings, especially the brick and mortar buildings for which R Street is known.
- What is a day in the life of Allyson Dalton on R Street like?
I love living and working in a place where almost everything I need is within walking distance. From excellent restaurants, to the arts, to gyms and soon to be grocery store, I feel more connected and part of the neighborhood by traversing the streets and alleys. Part of my day is spent in my office, usually in front of a computer working on spreadsheets and tenant leases. Many days are filled with meetings, usually at Fox & Goose. Somehow, I always manage to find time to make it to the gym. Around 1pm, I walk across the hall for lunch in the loft with my husband and usually take a walk around the building and neighborhood in the afternoon, checking in on what’s happening with my tenants and the R Street corridor. The challenge of strategizing a plan for what’s next, personally and professionally, makes every day exciting.
- What’s your favorite moment/memory of the R Street Corridor so far?
47 years on R Street equates to many moments and memories, but I’d have to say my favorite moment has been moving into the transformed loft space which I dreamed about years earlier and is now where I live. My favorite memory is of my Dad in a kayak in one of the huge potholes in order to draw attention to the state of R Street in the 80’s.
- What are your thoughts on the future of R Street?
After so many years of talk, talk, and more talk, about the potential of R Street, it is exciting to see the progress that has taken place over the last few years. Without the vision of CADA, the City and several developers who saw the potential of R Street, we wouldn’t be where we are today. As for the future, I hope to see a balanced approach in the continued development. Having this eclectic mix of residential (we need more), retail, art galleries and art spaces, restaurants, and businesses located in the character-filled buildings for which R Street is known, is crucial for making this a true destination place. However, I hope that we do not see too much gentrification and push out the very thing that gives this place character.
- What would you like to see for R Street in the future?
I would love to see more growth of the art community along the corridor. We have a great foundation with WAL, Beatnik, ARTHOUSE and Verge, but I would like to see more makers spaces and retail of these unique products, visual and performing arts, including more public art and murals. I also would like to see even more residential in the neighborhood which is crucial to activate the 24/7 activity needed in downtown.
- What business/person/item/piece of artwork/etc. on R Street inspires you?
Business: Fox & Goose, the longevity and continuity make it my favorite R Street icon
Person: Fred David, the foundation for my business sense came from my landlord, who previously owned the Fuller Building until his death after turning 100 years old in 2010. Even as a child he mentored me on how to run a business with honesty and integrity.
Piece of artwork: The mural by Add Fuel on WAL.
- It’s 5pm and you’re craving something delicious on R Street, where do you go and what do you get?
Who eats at 5pm? I try to eat at all the restaurants in the R Street corridor to support our local businesses, but my personal favorites are Fox & Goose (of course), Shoki Ramen, and Fish Face.
- If you could add one thing to R Street, what would it be?
A performing arts theater