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Parkside leaders working on community cafe

Parkside leaders working on community cafe

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Parkside community leaders are working on opening a restaurant at the corner of Parkside Avenue and Russell Street that would redefine "neighborhood café."

The current and former presidents of the Parkside Community Association, working with a café owner, hope to open Jam by the end of the summer. The restaurant space at 301 Parkside Ave., across the street from the Buffalo Zoo, was last P. Moran's.

Their plan for Jam is to raise money from neighbors, and create a business that would not only offer Parkside another amenity, but use some of its profits to improve the neighborhood.

Amber Small, association executive director, is working with former board president Monica Cichon, and Jesse Crouse, owner of Tipico, a West Side Third Wave coffee shop.

After P. Moran's closed in January, "a lot of our neighbors were talking about how they wanted something similar," Small said. After some discussion, Small said, "we decided the best way to see it become something the neighborhood would support is to do it ourselves."

She and Cichon have limited food service experience, said Small. A search for a partner led to Crouse, who opened Tipico, 128 Fargo Ave., in November 2015.

Crouse, who is also managing partner of Plume, a coffee roaster, will shape the food and drink menu. "I want people to be able to come in and get a great cup of coffee, a perfect croissant, or just a space to drink a beautiful cup of tea and enjoy a beautiful day in Parkside."

Small, simple dishes will include California-style toast preparations, pesto rice bowls and sous-vide eggs. Drinks will include Plume coffee, said Crouse, and he plans to offer bottled kombucha from Barrel + Brine.

To finance the café, she said, "we are planning on going forward with a capital campaign, and a community offering." State regulations bar her from getting into details at this point, she said. "We'll release more details when we are able."

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