Two new businesses plan to open in downtown Delaware around the first Friday of September.
Renovations are underway at Mohio Pizza Co., 23 N. Sandusky St., and at Coffeeology, 43 N. Sandusky St., which replaces Thrifty Chic that closed early last week.
“This is more good news for the community, and continues to show downtown Delaware’s appeal and vitality. We look forward to both businesses opening soon,” said Lee Yoakum, the city’s community affairs coordinator.
Coffeeology owner Melissa Dixon said she planned to open her business three years ago where Staas Brewing is now located at Winter Street. But her sister, who lives in California, was diagnosed with breast cancer.
“We had to hold off on things,” she said.
While her sister survived and recovered from the disease, Dixon and her mother, Sharon Coles of Sedona, Arizona, thought the time was right to bring the business venture to fruition. With help from the city of Delaware, Dixon looked at the location and spoke with the building and Thrifty Chic owners.
“It worked out well,” she said.
The duo’s store will blend their different passions together. Coles, who’s been in the antique business for more than 20 years, will bring a steady stream of inventory from the West Coast to be placed throughout the shop with new retail mixed in. On the other hand, Dixon will bring her barista background to the forefront by managing a full-service coffee bar complemented with a seating area.
Originally from Long Beach, California, Dixon said she wanted to open a business in the area since she came to Delaware in 2009.
“This is the downtown I come to all the time,” she said.
Dixon added that she’s working to secure partnerships with a local farm and bakery to offer customers products made with local ingredients. She plans to hire about four to six employees and have a soft opening by the next First Friday event in September.
“I’m such a community-oriented person,” she said.
A couple of blocks south of the new coffee store, Mo Nelson of Lewis Center plans to keep it simple when he opens his pizza restaurant. A patio fence was installed Wednesday at the site of the former Delaware Dog and inside, future customers will find a sleek bar with two flat-screen televisions and an open kitchen with a 2½-ton oven imported from Italy.
Nelson said he wanted to get into the food business and has been cooking pizzas for four years, studying different styles while crafting his own. He said he planned to open the business in Powell, but the deal fell through.
Delaware came onto his radar when he and his wife attended the Vintage Auto Club of Delaware-sponsored “Blast from the Past Car Show” two years ago.
“That car show brought us down,” he said.
With renovations nearing completion, Nelson said he hopes to open before the First Friday in September. He’s also looking for bartenders and servers to employ.
The owner plans to offer a single-page menu featuring a variety of wood-style, individual-size pizzas along with appetizers and sandwiches. The restaurant’s repertoire of craft beers and wines will be selected to complement the pizzas offered.
“This is not Donatos,” he said.
Brandon Klein can be reached at 740-413-0904 or on Twitter at @brandoneklein.