Tonawanda News — A popular section of North Tonawanda’s Webster Street will be undergoing some changes in the next few months, with two city fixtures moving out and two new businesses moving in.
The Palette Café at Hodgepodge gift shop, 72 Webster St., is now closed (with the temporary exception of some desserts), while the Partners in Art Gallery on the other side of the shop will close after its last exhibit ends Aug. 31.
Kay Learned, who with Penny Creasy is the owner of Hodgepodge, said the café location will become a deli named Mike and Risa’s, while Argento Photography will move into the former gallery. Hodgepodge will remain open.
“The gift shop will stay in its current location and expand in souvenirs,” she said. “It really hasn’t been that so much since the economy went sour in 2008. We’re looking forward into being able to build it back up inventory-wise.”
Learned will be doing commission artwork as they put together more of the expanded line, she said. “We hope to get back into sweatshirts, maybe T-shirt in the spring. Christmas ornaments, certainly. There are lots of possibilites. I don’t have how much how fast. We’d like to become the souvenir destination for the street.”
Learned and Creasey opened Hodgepodge in 1996 on Oliver Street, then moved to Webster Street in 2002. The cafe opened in 2004, and they purchased and renovated the adjacent building into the art gallery in 2007.
With the lease ending for Partners in Art Gallery, that change was a bit of a mutual decision, Learned said, and it was time to pass the café portion off to someone new.
“We’ve done it for a while and we’re ready to hand it off to somebody who can take it and run with it,” she said.