The restoration of Parkside Candy starts Monday.
Crews will begin restoring the pistachio green-colored interior, with its small soda fountain, cream-colored dome ceiling, wooden display cases, dark walnut moldings and seating alcove.
A new black-and-white tile floor will be installed. The domed ceiling -- repaired and painted a few years ago -- will have a water-damaged section repaired painted. The green paint and gold leaf will be redone. Candy cases will receive new LED light fixtures, and the alcove booth will get new cushions.
"We often hear words like 'iconic' and 'historic,' but Parkside Candy is the real deal," said Roseanne Scibilia, executive director of the University District Community Development Association, which sponsored the application for a grant from the Buffalo Billion economic initiative.
The candy and ice cream shop where history seems to have stood still is about to be restored to its 1927 glory. The $230,000 project -- the beneficiary of a $125,000 matching grant from the Buffalo Billion economic initiative -- was delayed five months due to unexpected asbestos problems.
In the spring, the shop's twin, chocolate-colored 1940s-era neon signs over the entrance -- rusted and unusable -- will be replaced. The two-story brick and stone exterior will also be cleaned, repointed, recaulked and repaired. New retractable awnings will also be hung.
"It is so beloved in the community, and we're just delighted that the government, through Empire State Development, recognized us," Scibilia said.
Owner Phillip Buffamonte, who bought the business with his late brother Ronald in 1981, said he looks forward to attracting new business to the store, including the return of former customers.
"I think this will bring back a lot of the customers who grew up in North Buffalo and moved to the suburbs," Buffamonte said. "We get a lot of business related to holiday seasons, and I think this will bring them into the store on a regular basis for ice cream and candy, and make them feel a little more comfortable."
Buffamonte said two upstairs apartments will get new heating, electrical power and air conditioning, along with updated kitchens and bathrooms. A next-door building will also be redone.
"The charm and detail in this space is truly amazing," said Sam Hoyt, regional president of Empire State Development. "It needs some investment, and it's going to get it."