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Limestone Coffee closer to reopening in downtown Batavia

Published: Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2012 4:40 p.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2012 11:42 p.m. CDT

BATAVIA – Limestone Coffee & Tea has moved a step closer to securing a downtown improvement grant and reopening at another location in downtown Batavia.

The Batavia City Council's Community Development Committee on Tuesday recommended giving Limestone a $25,000 downtown improvement grant. The full City Council is set to vote on the issue at its meeting Monday.

The grant would be in addition to Limestone receiving a $15,000 micro-loan from the city. The City Council’s Government Services Committee in August recommended giving Limestone a the micro-loan to go toward the purchase of kitchen equipment and supplies to expand and enhance its business.

The City Council in 2009 established the downtown improvement grant program, which provides building owners with up to 50 percent of actual improvement costs. The estimated $65,482 project cost includes private investment of $40,482 over the $25,000 matching grant.

Limestone closed its cafe in November at the corner of Wilson and North River streets after being in the building since September 2007. The Rhino Room restaurant has since moved into the space.

Maureen Mares runs Limestone Coffee with her daughter, Kendall Ertz.

Limestone found a location at 8 W. Wilson St. in downtown Batavia, the former home of Lane Allen Architects, and has requested a $25,000 grant to renovate the 1,555-square-foot space into a coffee shop.

"It will fit a currently vacant space with a new business and bring additional business traffic to the downtown," Batavia building commissioner Jeff Albertson said in a memo to aldermen.

Limestone Coffee has worked out a lease arrangement with Batavia Enterprises, which owns the space.

“I think it’s a great fit,” Batavia Enterprises Vice President Austin Dempsey said. "Limestone is a proven commodity in the City of Batavia. I think it will be very well embraced by the community."

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