GENEVA – So popular is Graham’s 318 Coffeehouse, it made the short list awarded by People Magazine as one of the must-see coffeehouses in the nation.
But after 10 years at 318 S. Third St. in Geneva, the business’s popularity has caused it to outgrow its space.
Owner Robert Untiedt is seeking city approval to expand for more seating and a doubling of the production area for pastries, gelato and ice cream. The expansion will be in the back of the building so as to maintain the historic integrity of the space, officials said.
Geneva aldermen gave conditional site plan approval Feb. 21 on Untiedt’s request to allow him to build a two-story, 3,515-square-foot addition to the rear of the existing building, which is 2,229 square feet.
The conditions require that Untiedt will provide an easement along the south and west property lines for utility services; that he will secure and record an access easement from St. Mark’s Episcopal Church and the city to use its parking lot access on the west for delivery and service vehicles; and that final engineering will be approved before the city will grant a construction permit, according to city documents.
“We are taking our serving area … to the new section,” Untiedt said at the Committee of the Whole meeting Feb, 13. “So where you see the serving area and bakery and gelato-making, in the back will be the seating.”
Untiedt also owns Graham’s Fine Chocolates & Ice Cream, 302 S. Third St. in Geneva, just a few doors down from the coffeehouse.
Untiedt needed approval from the Zoning Board of Appeals and the City Council because the expansion would exceed 25 percent of the existing floor area. He also needed approval from the Historic Preservation Commission. He has gotten the green light from the Zoning Board of Appeals, the Historic Preservation Commission and a conditional go-ahead from the City Council. As of April 17, Untiedt had not applied for a construction permit, city officials said.