With help from the city’s urban renewal district, an Albany couple hope to move and expand their specialty restaurant and meal service and be open at their new address in the fall.
The advisory board and then the city council as the governing agency of the Central Albany Revitalization Area on Wednesday approved a $15,000 grant request by Homegrown Oregon Foods, which started in 2016 and operates out of the back of a beauty salon at 229 Fourth Ave. S.E.
The CARA action gives the owners the last thing they needed to launch their expansion, which involves moving their specialty kitchen and meal service to the ground floor of the historic Schultz Building at 212 First Ave. S.E. The business offers gluten-free dishes to go and as a catering service. But it’s also open for lunch, though there are only a handful of seats at their counter in the back of the Marrakesh Salon.
I dropped in on the business Thursday and chatted briefly with the owners, Shawna Turkins-Dugger and her husband, Christopher Dugger. I asked about their operation, and here’s part of what she said:
They are leasing the space at 212 First and the adjoining vacant lot — for parking — with an option to buy. They have bank and private financing for most of their project and asked for the CARA contribution to cover the remaining gap in the funds needed to remodel the building.
They intend to start remodeling the space in June and hope to open the place three months later. When that happens, they’ll have a downtown restaurant (on the east side no less) with not only mouth-watering and healthy dishes — check them out online — but a parking lot of its own. (hh)