Business growth continues in village
By Terry Duffy
Taking a drive down Lockport Street in the Village of Youngstown this week found some truly welcome news – plans for a new grocery development in the former Marketplace plaza.
According to the Youngstown Business and Professional Association, new member Daniela Vanoni revealed her intentions recently for the “Youngstown Marketside.” A new business offering is expected to feature a small grocery, a café, bakery and pizza operation. The Youngstown Marketside will be located in a small area found to right of the Rite Aid store in the plaza. Most recently it operated as a church; prior to that it was a small restaurant.
“#YBPA giving a huge shout-out to the new ‘Youngstown Marketside’ opening for business this fall (where the Baptist Church was),” wrote YBPA President Cheryl Butera on the business association’s Facebook page. “This is such wonderful news for all of us who live and work in Youngstown, NY. We say welcome. #ybpastrongforall #youngstownnyrenaissance.”
The announcement is the latest in an encouraging swing of upbeat business activity that has struck the village. Over the past several months, new business operations, including the Hardened Art Tattoo Studio, Hill of Beans Coffee Stop, Sister and Brother Children’s Apparel and the new Mangia Cakes, have set up shop along the Main Street strip. They are joined by City Experiences by Hornblower, which took over the Niagara Jet Adventures operation on Water Street. Together with such established Youngstown names as the Village Diner, the Ontario House (Jug), and That Barber & Co. by Il Mulino, they join a growing list of diverse business operations that now call the village home.
But a new grocery store? Well, that’s great news.
As village residents are well aware, the Youngstown community has been minus virtually any type of grocery operation in the village since the closure in 2018 of the Melloni’s Marketplace and Catering store in the Lockport Street plaza. Back then, owners Lou and Diane Melloni opted to shut down the Youngstown business and went on to open the new Melloni’s Meats and Catering on Ellicott Creek Road in Tonawanda. Their former Lewiston location on Center Street is now The Como Deli.
Since that time, the options for Youngstown and Porter residents in need of any semblance of a full-fledged grocer have been limited, at best, to travelling to Lewiston and points south or out east toward Wilson/Newfane.
The Youngstown store that was the former Melloni’s was since acquired by Ken Scibetta and Eddie Webster of the Griffin House in Lewiston and various Griffin Gastro Pub operations. That site is currently undergoing inside renovation work. Their long-range plans for the building call for a small café and microbrewing operations.
A sign outside the new Youngstown Marketside indicated plans for a fall or winter 2021 opening. And while the future owner has thus far been silent on her actual schedule, the excitement and anticipation in the village is already heating up.
“This is certainly great news,” Butera remarked.
Her excitement is shared by hundreds of likes and heart icons on YBPA’s Facebook page along with a host of positive responses.
“So happy to hear this!” Bernadette Brennen wrote.
“So happy to see this much needed business,” JoAnn Dunn Stone added.
“Yay, this is awesome news,” Judy Anderson Platek noted.
Stay tuned to the Tribune/Sentinel for more on this as news develops.