HOLMBERG: From porn shop to taco shop, a Boulevard eyesore has been transformed.

Posted at 11:12 PM, Jul 12, 2013

RICHMOND, Va (WTVR)- For 40 years, The Triangle Book Store has been one of the worst eyesores in Richmond. It was a seedy entrance to the Boulevard that advertised quarter movies and adult books.

“People had to explain as they were driving past with their kids, and their kids are saying ‘Hey, we should watch movies there, they’re only 25 cents,’” said Patrick Stamper, one of the partners that has turned the triangular-shaped building into a California-style taqueria.

For the past 16 months, Stamper and his partners have been transforming the former windowless porn shop that was the target of many local and federal raids. Now it’s a breezy and bright restaurant that retained some of the motifs of the notorious bookstore that was run for years by the mysterious underworld figure and arsonist, Charles Junior Perdue of Oregon Hill.

“We had two options, the way I see it,” Stamper said 16 months ago as he stood inside partially gutted bookstore. “We could pretend it was never this at all. Or we could embrace it a little and have some fun with it.”

The name of the taco shop is En Su Boca – Spanish for "in your mouth."

Developer and activist Charlie Diradour bought the property 22 months ago. He said it’s a crucial part of transforming the Boulevard district, since the old store stood prominently at the entrance of the Boulevard, like a figurehead.

The transformation is complete. En Su Boca will open next week.