Updated, Dec. 23, 2015: If you’re a fan of Patticakes in Haile Village Center, you’ll have another reason to visit Bo Diddley Plaza when it reopens in 2016.
Gainesville city officials on Monday selected Jan Patterson’s proposal for Patticakes on the Plaza over two other applicants (mentioned below).
- City staff will negotiate a lease with Patterson for the space.
- Exterior and interior construction work will continue early in 2016.
- The lease will begin.
And cupcakes — among other items — will be sold.
Original story, Nov. 2, 2015:
Gainesville foodies will be glad to know a new restaurant is coming soon to the Bo Diddley Community Plaza downtown. But the question is: Which Gainesville restaurateur will get the chance to open it?
Three entrepreneurs submitted restaurant proposals for the plaza. One proposal will be selected by the Gainesville Community Redevelopment Agency by the end of the year as part of the major reconstruction of Bo Diddley Plaza.
Lynn Janoski, the city manager with Gainesville CRA, said its evaluation committee has finished initial interviews and moved on to negotiations. The staff will make a recommendation to the CRA board, which will then decide on the tenant.
Beondia Moore submitted the first proposal. Her restaurant, which would be named either “Moore Gourmet” or “Be Moore Gourmet,” would be a healthy and fast eating establishment, she said. Although she has been cooking for 11 years, this is Moore’s first restaurant venture.
“I started young,” Moore said. “Cooking was kind of like how I dealt with my feelings. It was how I expressed myself. I absolutely love it, and sharing it with other people makes it even better.”
Another proposal, sent in by Jan Patterson, calls for a second location to a café she already owns in Haile Village Center called Patticakes. Patticakes sells coffee drinks, quiches, sandwiches, cupcakes and other desserts.
“We understand Gainesville,” Patterson said. “We understand its personality. We’ve been here a long time, and we have no intentions of being anywhere else.”
The third proposal was submitted on behalf of Bert Gill and Carlston Watts. Gill is the current owner of Mildred’s Big City Food, The New Deal Café and Blue Gill Quality Food — where Watts currently works as a chef. This new restaurant would be called Culinary Buffet, or CB’s, and its aim would be to attract a diverse crowd to a sit-down, southern-style cuisine.
Unlike their other establishments, Watts would be the owner of the proposed restaurant and Gill would be supporting him.
“When I brought (the idea) to Chef Bert, I wanted to offer more employment to minorities,” Watts said. “I want to provide jobs and culinary skills to those who can’t afford school…those who want to get into that business but don’t know how.”
Although there is no report of how each restaurant is being considered, Gainesville City Commissioner Randy Wells said the chosen restaurant should fit in well with the nature of the plaza and work to further expand the downtown market.
Gainesville Mayor Ed Braddy said he has high hopes for the future restaurant.
“We’re hoping for a strong business plan that’s financially viable,” Braddy said. “Secondly, we’re looking for something to add some character for the plaza, so it will add to the overall experience people will have when they’re downtown.”
A decision should be made by the CRA Board by the end of 2015, Janoski said.