A downtown bakery and luncheonette is expected to open early next year at the former location of Two Guys Clothing.
Jimmy Sutman Jr., owner and founder of Iron and String Life Enhancement Inc., said Tuesday he plans to invest about $250,000 to open Sugar Plum at 107 W. Federal St.
The city’s Design Review Committee approved plans Tuesday to permit Sutman to demolish the front of the former clothing store and install new glass and masonry, planters, lighting, signs and a security gate. That work will cost $39,900.
“A bakery will be good for downtown,” said Bill D’Avignon, the city’s Community Development Agency director and chairman of the Design Review Committee.
ISLE provides job skills, daily living skills and recreational activities for mentally and physically impaired people. It operates the Purple Cat workshop and Touch the Moon Candy Saloon in downtown Youngstown as well as the Pearl Street Mission on the city’s East Side and a 52-acre farm in Coitsville.
When Sugar Plum opens, it will employ 20 to 25 adults with disabilities on a rotating part-time basis and have five to 10 nonclients working there full time, Sutman said.
“It’s fun; it’s something different,” he said of the business. “At the Pearl Street Mission, we have a commercial kitchen and make hot lunches. This is the next logical step.”
The first floor will be the bakery and luncheonette. A smaller upper floor likely will be converted into an apartment.
Sutman and his wife live on the upper floor of ISLE at 12 S. Phelps St. That building and Sugar Plum are connected.
ISLE owns 107 W. Federal St. and wanted to use the site to expand its business for more than a year. When Two Guys’ lease expired in June 2011, it wasn’t renewed by ISLE.
Two Guys relocated to the city-owned 20 Federal Place in July 2011, and its owners just opened Two Girls, a companion store for women’s clothing also at 20 Federal Place on West Federal Street.
ISLE was interested in renovating the Kress Building, located next door to the Sugar Plum site, to expand its Purple Cat operations.
But the agency abandoned those plans in January because Kress, vacant for about 20 years, has extensive water damage caused by numerous holes in its roof.
The estimated improvement cost for Kress ranges from $3.2 million to $5 million.