Carrie Rengers

Cinnamon's Deli to join eateries at 29th, Maize

A third restaurant is joining Five Guys Burgers and Fries and Long John Silver's Freshside Grille in front of Lowe's near 29th North and Maize Road.

Cinnamon's Deli will open in 2,400 square feet next to Five Guys, which will anchor the south end of the strip center there.

Long John Silver's will anchor the north end.

Central Park Place Retail is developing the 8,960-square-foot center.

Brad Saville of Landmark Commercial Real Estate and Christian Ablah of Classic Real Estate are principals in Central Park. Cook Construction is the builder.

They broke ground on the project Wednesday.

At a time that not many strip centers are under construction — and many are sitting empty — Ablah thinks "the exciting tenants that we have with this kind of location" is why he and Saville are able to proceed with theirs.

The center is 81 percent occupied.

There's 1,680 square feet left to lease, and Ablah and Saville are open to either a restaurant or retail.

Look for the new restaurants to open in early 2010.

The place to be

When Green Acres opened in Bradley Fair almost 16 years ago, it had a 4,000-square-foot deli.

Four years ago, it expanded to 10,000 square feet.

Now, it's expanding again.

"Business is really good right now," says Barbara Hoffmann , who owns the store with her husband, John . "We're really having a huge demand for a lot of different things."

One of those things is gluten-free products, like cookies, cakes and pizzas.

"There's another demand, and that's sugar-free —amazingly so," Hoffmann says.

She offers food, such as what she calls a decadent sweet roll, that's sweetened mostly with agave instead of sugar.

Hoffmann says a good portion of the deli's space was behind a wall, which she's now removed to start utilizing space in the back.

"We're increasing our capacity 50 percent within the same space, but it's now all workable space," she says.

Hoffmann is making other changes due to customer demand.

"We're really seeing where people are starting to care a little more about where their food comes from," she says. "We just really over-label everything anymore."

And, in a few weeks, Hoffmann will begin offering meals to go, including organic and free-range meats and wild salmon. The food will be packaged in microwavable containers.

"They can just pick it up and take it home and heat and serve."

Cloudy forecast

After not quite nine years in business, La Mesa Mexican Restaurant has closed.

Co-owner Mario Quiroz says his restaurant, which was at 6960 W. 21st St., couldn't weather the economy and new nearby competition.

"I don't see the end," he says of the recession.

And when Senor Tequila opened at 21st and Tyler Road recently, Quiroz says his business immediately dropped by 20 percent.

"People really want to go and try the new business in the area," he says.

Winter is always La Mesa's toughest season, Quiroz says, so he decided to try to lease or sell his space rather than fight to stay open.

He's getting the 6,500-square-foot building ready to put on the market.

Quiroz still co-owns Frida's Mexican Grill at 1580 W. 21st St., just east of 21st and Amidon.

"Frida's is getting much better," he says of business.

He says the 2,200-square-foot restaurant, which also has a 5,000-square-foot party room, is more manageable, especially with fewer employees.

"It's easier to make it work."

Chilly news

The west-side Chill Gelato & Coffee near 21st and Maize Road also has closed.

"It was just not enough business," says Sudha Tokala , who owns the east-side Chill at the Waterfront .

A friend of Tokala's opened the west-side Chill in December. Once summer ended, Tokala says business dropped off dramatically.

Her Chill isn't in danger of closing, but Tokala is adding food back on her menu and changing the name to Chill Gelato, Coffee & Deli in an effort to get more business.

She used to have sandwiches on the menu, but her gelato business was so good, she couldn't keep up with both.

So she began concentrating on only gelato and coffee.

"Back when the economy was fine, that was more than enough," Tokala says.

Then the economy tanked.

"I guess that's the first thing people cut is the coffees," Tokala says.

Look for sandwiches and soups on her menu in about two weeks.

"I'm hoping that will help me ... through the winter."

You don't say

"Doggone, we've been under contract many times. This one almost got away, too."

Star Lumber's Chris Goebel , who's finally closed a deal for his 11.4 acres at Central and Maize Road, where Wal-Mart now plans a Neighborhood Market