Coffeehouse to open ‘within two weeks’
The coffeehouse Copperccino’s will be open for business “within two weeks,” said Rome Main Streets Alliance executive director Michael Brown.
The shop, located at 254 W. Dominick St., was originally slated for a summertime opening. Bringing the long-vacant site up to codes took more time than expected, and that date was pushed to September, and then October.
Since then, the process has been a matter of securing “last minute equipment,” said Brown. He added that the kitchen area was ready for opening day, and that employees begin training next week. Signage has been erected on the building, as well.
The coffeehouse will offer brews from local brands, such as Broasters Coffee of Rome and Utica Coffee Roasting Co. Brown said there are plans to host live entertainment — including music and stand up comedy — from featured artists “on the local circuit.”
The shop’s proceeds, said Brown, will benefit the Main Streets Alliance’s “mandate of downtown development.” There are plans to set up a trust that would provide low-interest micro loans to small businesses within James and Dominick Street corridors.
The Alliance received a $25,000 grant from the Community Foundation of Herkimer and Oneida Counties early this year to purchase restaurant and coffee brewing equipment for Copperccino’s. The non-profit has also opened a line of credit to finance startup costs.
“We’ve got bank loans,” Brown explained. “It’s a real business.”
Copperccino’s will be the first phase of a three-part concept – called the Main Street Market — to “fill a niche” in the West Dominick Arts District, the non-profit has said in the past. The next phases will include a craft emporium for New York-made goods, and a brewpub.
“We’re trying to change the perspective on what’s possible in downtown Rome,” Brown said.
He also noted that, aside from the Capitol Theater and Cinema, no businesses on the 200 block of West Dominick are open later than 6 p.m. Copperccino’s, he argued, would challenge the perception that downtown Rome is lifeless.“We want to make it so there’s always something going on. If you’re going to the Capitol, there’s something to do before and after. If you’re going to the fort, there’s something to do before and after. If you work downtown, there’s somewhere to go,” he said. “We want to be the catalyst,” Brown continued. “A coffee shop is always the harbinger of change for a neighborhood.”