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Seventh Heaven On Grant Street

It’s rare that you walk into a business and feel like you’ve been there before. I think that feeling only comes around when there is such sense of comfort and ease due to the immediate surroundings. Last evening we went to the soft opening of Sweet_ness 7 Café on Grant Street. Even before I walked through the front door I knew that we were in a for a very special treat. The second I walked into the space I felt something so rare… like I had stumbled upon a scene that my grandfather would have experienced fifty years ago in Buffalo.
Now normally I would say that the scenario reminded me of a hip café in Greenwich Village. Not this time. The café setting is reminiscent of what would have been found in an old-world Buffalo neighborhood at the turn of the century. It was magnificent. Months earlier I had seen an empty shell… now the brick walls and the wood floors looked as if the place had been open and cared for since the time the building had been built. The decor was perfect. A giant wood food preparation table sat in the middle of the room and offered strangers the chance to sit at the same table without feeling awkward. Then there were smaller hand-painted tables (reminiscent of Navajo rug designs) scattered about, with built-in wooden benches under the windows. The numerous café chairs (from the ’60s) dotted the room with appropriate splashes of turquoise. Even the small orange glass water cooler stood out among the rustic dark wood cabinets, the commercial appliances, the creative chalkboards… as if it were a piece of some long lost and forgotten puzzle.
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To top off the evening, Joel Miller, Reverend of the Unitarian Universalist Church (W. Ferry and Elmwood), called upon friends and family to gather into a large circle. He then gave a heartfelt blessing which resounded throughout the room, as a soft quiet snow began to fall outside. I felt so proud for café owner Prish Moran – her hard work to recapture the vibrancy of that street corner had finally paid off. Risk takers like Prish are the people who deserve a key to the city of Buffalo. To open a gallery… then a coffee shop… and next a flower shop (with her sister), before one day opening a meeting hall… all on one forgotten corner of Grant Street? Singlehandedly, Prish has done what few other would have ever attempted to do in an oft-struggling neighborhood. She has made her claim on the street in hopes that others will follow her lead with their own investments.
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Earlier this morning (I was that inspired) we paid a visit to Sweet_ness 7 before heading over to shop at Guercio’s. I couldn’t believe what I saw… the eco-friendly café was bustling with people and we had to wait in a short line to get a cup of coffee. There is still no food being served, but apparently that will come soon enough… and when it comes, customers will find that much attention is going to be payed to the slow food and organic movement.
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We sat at one of the benches and watched all of the activity. Had I not known where we were, I would have made a bet that there were some mountains and skiers nearby. Customers kept walking in and stomping their boots off at the front door. There were kids and adults sitting around sipping hot chocolate, tea and coffee. Mike Rizzo (ex-Buffalo bike messenger) was there, as was Bill Banas (New Millennium Group), and one of my former high school teachers. The neighborhood had come out to rally behind Prish and her new venture.
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For some reason, out of all of the posts that I have written for BRO, this one resonates with me unlike any other. The opening was a long hard journey for Prish, her family and her friends. There are so many important layers to this story – this is a project that could have crashed before it even left the ground. People like Bob Franke (Grant-Ferry Association) should be congratulated for their hard work and determination. Go-getters like Prish and the examples that they set are the reasons that I love Buffalo so much. Last night, as I looked around the room (at the same time that Joel was giving his first café blessing), I felt that there was no place in the world that I would rather be, than standing inside Sweet_ness 7 at the corner of Grant and Lafayette (in the city of Buffalo).
Tentative hours: Mon-Fri 7am-7pm. Weekend hours TBD. Due to ongoing construction schedule, Prish can guarantee weekday morning hours will be regular, but afternoons could vary. Please call ahead if you’re making the trip in the next few days. And Wi-Fi is coming… – 716-883-1738.
Sweet-ness 7 Café | 216 Grant Street (at Lafayette) | Buffalo, NY 14213
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Written by queenseyes

queenseyes

Newell Nussbaumer is 'queenseyes' - Eyes of the Queen City and Founder of Buffalo Rising. Co-founder Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts. Co-founder Powder Keg Festival that built the world's largest ice maze (Guinness Book of World Records). Instigator behind Emerald Beach at the Erie Basin Marina. Co-created Flurrious! winter festival. Co-creator of Rusty Chain Beer. Instigator behind Saturday Artisan Market (SAM) at Canalside, Buffalo Porchfest, and Paint vs. Paint. Founder of The Peddler retro and vintage market on Elmwood. Instigator behind Liberty Hound @ Canalside. Throws The Witches Ball at Statler City, the Hertel Alley Street Art Festival, and The Flutterby Festival.

Contact Newell Nussbaumer | Newell@BuffaloRising.com

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