TaZa will add a local marketplace and small stage as it moves to the first floor of the building the café has occupied since its opening. The building at 5047 Forest Hill Ave. currently houses an antiques shop on the first floor, and the coffee shop upstairs. TaZa manager John Cherenzia says he thinks it's time to liven things up.
“We are kind of in a food desert,” he says. “The whole downstairs corridor is underutilized and this is the time to bring some growth back to the immediate area. The idea is to accommodate the immediate neighborhood.”
The new downstairs will include the established café with an expanded menu in addition to a small market section, stage area and various shops. Shop vendors are still in the process of signing contracts with TaZa.
TaZa was motivated by the response from the neighborhood, Cherenzia says. “They really embraced us. We were really too small.”
Poetry readings and local entertainment will take up TaZa’s stage, while customers can shop for fresh produce, regional wine and beer, meat and gourmet cheese at the marketplace.
“The idea is to make it a one-stop shop,” Cherenzia says. “We don’t want it to be a strictly high-end shop. The biggest thing we want people to know is that we are local.”
He says plans are in place with contractors and subcontractors, and TaZa is looking to have everything up and running this fall.