DALLAS TWP. — Move over Connor’s Grillroom — City Market Cafe is moving in.
Clark Summit-based Convenient Food Marts is in the process of acquiring the two-unit building that houses Connor’s Grillroom and the Fine Wine and Good Spirits shop at 2161 Memorial Highway in Dallas Township.
Local restaurateur Michael Valenti and his wife Mara, owners of Valenti’s Restaurant in Exeter, will operate the specialty store franchise that is slated to open in June, pending renovations to the 3,692-square-foot space used by Connor’s Grillroom.
Connor’s Grillroom will close its doors on Feb.15, ending a 14-year reign as one of the Back Mountain’s destination restaurants.
City Market Cafe, a high-quality specialty shop will offer some of Valenti’s Restaurant’s signature dishes such as antipasto and Old Forge style pizza, plus a list of high-quality products including imported olive oils and olives, a line of organic products, gluten-free items, brick oven pizza and craft beers.
Valenti will also feature family meals, freshly made soups, sandwiches and salads. The shop will also provide a variety of platters for children’s parties and other occasions. The cafe will have some in-house seating as well as takeout options, he said.
Customers will see a familiar face at the cafe as former Connor’s Grillroom Chef Jeff Keller will be the general manager, Valenti said.
Valenti hopes the cafe’s products will compliment the Fine Wind and Good Spirits shop.
“We hope to create a type-of-one-stop shopping experience,” he said.
After 16 years in the restaurant industry, the chance for Valenti to diversify into another business venue appealed to him.
“This was a great business opportunity,” Valenti said. “We are excited and happy to serve the people of the Back Mountain.”
The couple will maintain their business, Valenti’s Restaurant at 1180 Wyoming Ave., in Exeter.
Connor’s Grillroom was listed with Mericle Commercial Real Estate since July 2015 for an asking price of $1,799,000. The Fine Wine and Good Spirits has a four-year lease agreement to occupy 8,062-square-foot space.
Scalleat Hospitality Group operated Connor’s Grillroom since 2002, along with the Ovalon in Hazleton and the Powerhouse Eatery in White Haven.
Convenience Food Marts has a City Market Cafe on Adams Avenue in Scranton. A second location at 53 Public Square in Wilkes-Barre is slated to open in April. Convenience Food Marts operates a total of 33 franchises in Northeastern Pennsylvania.
Reach Eileen Godin at 570-991-6387 or on Twitter @TLNews.