Big plans para Para

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Para Coffee is growing. Or outgrowing, as the case may be. Says owner Eric Kelley, when school’s in, the Elliewood coffee shop is completely full. That’s why he’s adding on. Last Tuesday, the Board of Architectural Review approved Kelley’s proposal to add a deck over the backyard to double Para’s available space.

Para Coffee owners Eric and Lora Kelley say that during the school year, the coffee shop is “tapped out” in terms of space. That’s why they’ll soon start construction on a deck and patio to add more seating.

Kelley plans to create a wood deck patio and a brick patio, hoping to eventually offer live music and host private events. 

With all that extra seating, it seems like a good opportunity to up the ante on the menu. But, Kelley is tight-lipped on the food front: “We’re thinking about trying to add some things to help draw people down.”

You scream for ice cream

Back in April, Restaurantarama reported the impending opening of a Dunkin’ Donuts on the Corner. Turns out, that’s not all that’s fitting in the former Rita’s Ice space. Corner visitors will get another treat too: Baskin Robbins! This is at least the second attempt to get a Baskin Robbins in Charlottesville. An earlier effort by developer Lee Danielson to open a BR store by the Ice Park in 1996 melted. Still no word on when the Corner store will be open, but you can bet Restaurantarama will be there to try all 31 flavors. 

$3 a pop

And in other frozen food news, City Market newcomer Pantheon Popsicles is branching out. Late last month, the princess of popsicles, Anne Rucker, announced via Facebook that the sweet treats—in flavors like Mango, Strawberry and Banana Coconut Chocolate Walnut—were available at Rebecca’s Natural Food. Recently, they’ve been turning up at Random Row Books events. For those not sure where they’ll pop (pardon the pun) up next, Pantheon also sells during the Pen and Meade Park markets on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, respectively.

Struck Golden

Golden Corral shut down after 15 years on Seminole Trail last week, which leads us to ask: Where will all the Republicans go? A longtime breakfast joint for the Albemarle GOP, the buffet spot’s closing throws a wrench in the local group’s plan. They’re working on an alternate location, says GOP chair Rachel Schoenewald. This news comes less than a year after the closing of Rivals Sports Bar & Grill, another watering hole for local conservatives, which shut its doors in December 2009.

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