By Jerry Lynott, Wilkes-Barre Times Leader
WILKES-BARRE — The coffee will be ready for City Market & Cafe’s 6 a.m. opening Wednesday in the downtown.
The shelves are stocked and the coolers nearly filled for the grocery and cafe on Public Square.
“We’re doing a soft opening,” said owner/operator Chris Cawley. He asked for some patience from customers as the employees work out “all the kinks.” The hours will vary depending upon downtown events, he said. Closing time initially will be between 9 and 10 p.m. and the store will be open seven days a week.
A new green and orange sign adorns the exterior of the building facing Public Square which is already home to a number of restaurants, bars and coffee shops. Wilkes-Barre has a downtown workforce of approximately 14,000 and is home to the campuses of Wilkes University and King’s College and a growing number of residential units, from condominiums to luxury apartments converted from office space in some of the older bank buildings.
Cawley has a 10-year lease for the property and aims to fill a void for residents and provide another choice for workers and students. The market and cafe will offer meals to go, fresh vegetables and fruits, bakery items, meats, beer and a deli counter, among other food and beverage selections. The cafe also features products from local vendors such as Pittston Popcorn Co., Dunmore Candy Kitchen and igourmet, he said.
The project has been in the works for approximately two years and cost more than a $1 million. Cawley, a Scranton native, purchased a franchise from Clark Summit-based Convenient Food Marts. His nearly 6,000 square-foot store will be one of three franchises locally. There’s one in downtown Scranton and another one planned for the former Connor’s Grillroom along the Memorial Highway in Dallas Township.