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Visions for Vacancies: Italio's Gelato and Cafe

The owner of the space that used to be home to Italio's Gelato and Cafe thinks a cafe and ice cream shop is just what Market Village needs. What do you think?

Visions for Vacancies is Smyrna-Vinings Patch's new weekly feature that looks at a vacant building and asks readers what they'd like to see there. This is your chance to dream big. If it was up to you, what would you open there?

This week Visions for Vacancies takes a look at the empty retail space that used to be home to Italio’s Gelato and Cafe in Market Village. The rent for this 1,400-square-foot space was recently lowered to $20 a square foot plus $4.50 a square foot for taxes, maintenance and insurance.

GK Johnson, the property’s owner, said the building has the plumbing necessary for a restaurant, but needs to be rebuilt after the owners of and gutted the space for their taqueria, but then decided to use the space across the street that was formerly home to Village Cafe. Johnson said this lends future tenants some flexibility.

“What (the previous tenants) gutted out they’ll rebuild and they’ll rebuild it to whatever my next tenant wants,” he said. “I’m not going to go rebuild something till I lease it. Somebody may want something different I’d hate to rebuild it, rip it out and then rebuild it again.”

Another unique feature of the space is its location. Johnson said he thought it would be ideal for a cafe that serves coffee, pastries, sandwiches and ice cream because it’s located on the “going to work side” of Atlanta Road. In the afternoon and early evening families could visit the shop for ice cream.

“In that way I want my tenants to be successful,” he said. “My fear is that if we just did coffee or we just did ice cream or sandwiches you’re just hitting segments of the demand that’s needed there or what people tell me they want. If we did all three (...) ultimately that would be the most successful operation up there.”

Johnson said he thinks restaurants do well in Market Village. He noted that at last week’s had its best sales in a single day since it opened and Zucca Pizzeria had it’s second best sales in a single day.

What would you like to see in the former Italio’s Gelato and Cafe location? Do you agree with Johnson that it could be a good location for a cafe that serves sandwiches, coffee and ice cream? Or do you think something else would be more at home? Tell us in the comments.

Jacqui March 23, 2012 at 04:56 PM
I think a mix restuarant / cafe would be a great addition to the Market Village. Coffee, sandwiches, salads, trendy desserts etc.Would love to see something in this empty space soon for grab and go options when the concerts start up!
Erik Fernald March 23, 2012 at 11:38 PM
The place has to be open for breakfast/lunch/dinner crowd to be feasible for a money maker. Ice cream alone is not a strong enough product to hold up, especially in the winter months. A local deli type restaurant open breakfast thru dinner may work, but a limited kitchen space makes catering difficult. The real money for a store is catering large orders. If the space is limited, it is tough.
jeremy March 26, 2012 at 02:12 PM
deli / pizza place wher you can get a Slice / pastrami sandwich / grab n go salads and sandwiches / dessert / wine ... or ... thai takeout.
Stephen Gillespie March 29, 2012 at 03:18 PM
What does everyone think about a craft beer / growler / brewing supply store in this space?

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