PARKSIDE -- A woman who helped the resurgence in recent years of a troubled West Side neighborhood by opening a popular coffee shop and art gallery is expanding her business.
Prish Moran is opening a second Sweet_ness 7 Cafe location this week at the corner of Parkside and Russell across from the Buffalo Zoo. It will have the same menu of coffees and teas served by the same staff with the addition of crêpes, she said.
"It really is the same concept — very simple, organic," she said.
Moran and the Sweet_ness 7 Cafe were featured in a Buffalo News video and story in July 2009 about the renewal of Grant Street between West Delevan and Auburn on the city's West Side.
She said she had planned to "kick my feet back a little bit this year" but got a letter in April from the Parkside building's owner — a Sweet_ness 7 regular — asking her to set up shop.
Never one to turn down a building in need of repair, Moran accepted.
"It was ugly," she said.
Moran turned to Buffalo ReUse, which salvages building materials from homes under demolition. She found a Chestnut door for the entrance, chairs and even a large tray for $5 to hold mugs over the bar.
"There's a really solid resource here to restore buildings," she said of Buffalo ReUse. "And I use it constantly."
Neighborhood residents appear excited at the addition of an independently-owned coffee shop in the area. One passerby commented to Moran and a reporter as they stood outside the building.
"We need this," he said.