Grant Street is getting a gelato joint. And guess where it’s going? Almost directly across the street from Sweet_ness 7 Café. Grant Street’s cornerstone café certainly did not waste time attracting another West Side believer. This time it’s David Simpson who is planting a commercial flag near the corner of Grant and Lafayette. “The new energy and development attracted me to the street,” Dave told me. “Combined with the history of the neighborhood, we knew that we wanted to be a part of the street’s growth. Guercio’s Market is a great draw as well – the business has been around for 30 years. I buy half of my products from Guercio’s. I can grab the supplies as I need them since they will be located just a few doors away.
“When I told the Sam Guercio that I was moving into the building, his eyes lit up. I think that he was rather astounded. This move from the Five Corner project (a bakery is moving in to fill the vacancy) will help to enhance our relationship with the market. We were looking for a location where more businesses were opening. The space that we’re moving into is about 500 sq.’ (photo – center). Our building was a flower retail shop at one point. The attached greenhouse (photo – lower left) is also very interesting… I can’t wait to see what happens with it. Other buildings on our block offer even more potential. This is very fortunate situation for us.
“The principal owner of Gelato Ji, Richard Buccleu, and I are very excited about the move. The properties on the street are less expensive, while offering a great ethnic diversity. I don’t care who you are… you can come in to the shop and we’ll serve you gelato. We have learned what sort of gelato and ice cream the different ethnic groups like. This is also where we will make the gelato for fifteen local restaurants like Tabree, Kuni’s, 31 Club, Trattoria Aroma, Shadow Lounge,
San Marco, SeaBar, and La Dolce Vita to name a few. The list is growing. We’re trying to be open by April 1st. The building is in pretty rough shape.”
Earlier today I stopped into Mum’s and Daisy’s to pick up some flowers. That was just after I grabbed a cup of coffee at S7. It might be a small concentration of businesses, but the street’s rebound has got to start somewhere. I still can’t believe that so much has happened in what seems like such a short period of time. Now it’s time to take on some of the problematic property owners on the street who continue to show no signs of fixing up their properties. The time is now to jump onboard with Grant Street growth!