The Buzz: Here’s what’s on the way this summer – Appleton Post Crescent

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Maureen Wallenfang
Appleton Post-Crescent

Published 9:24 AM EDT Jul 3, 2020

An internet giant. A few nationally known retailers. A handful of small, locally-owned shops.

This summer’s business scene has a fair number of coming attractions despite the challenges imposed by the coronavirus.

Give these businesses credit. Opening now, in the midst of a pandemic, takes guts. Not only are there normal new business jitters and bugs to work out, they also have to deal with new sanitizing measures and contact-free systems for customers to order, pay and get delivery.

One new business owner, Joe Whitehouse of Evergreen Florist of Appleton, said he views the slower business pace right now as a plus. “It gives us a little bit of time to grow into our name and space,” he said. He means it figuratively and literally, as the business is putting in a new garden on its property. 

Here’s a preview of what’s coming:

ACOCA COFFEE

The downtown Appleton coffeehouse is currently expanding at 500 W. College Ave. “We are hoping to open mid-summer,” said owner Bill Wetzel. In the meantime, he opened a satellite location called Acoca Flats inside Tandem Wine and Beer at 101 W. Edison Ave. in Appleton. It serves coffee, smoothies and ice cream.

AMAZON 

Amazon is expected to open its distribution facility in Greenville this month. See the full story that ran yesterday.

AVANT

This new apartment building at 118 N. Durkee St. in downtown Appleton is nearing completion. “We will be ready for residents the first week of August,” said Dan Klister, partner in Fore Investment Group, the building’s developer and owner. “We have a number of units reserved and a few leases already signed.” Fore Investment Group also owns the recently opened Gabriel Lofts apartment building downtown. Info: Avant-apartments.com 

EVERGREEN FLORIST OF APPLETON 

A new floral design shop will bloom Aug. 1 at 1124 N. Mason St. in Appleton. The building is a block south of Wisconsin Avenue, and formerly housed Yesterdays and The Cottage. Evergreen Florist is owned and operated by partners Joe Whitehouse, Spencer Seim, Jill Swenson and Mary Whitehead. Whitehouse is an award-winning floral designer who previously worked at Charles the Florist, a longtime flower shop that closed in February. 

GREEN GECKO

Green Gecko Grocer & Deli is nearing its opening day, likely around the middle of this month, at 222 E. College Ave. in downtown Appleton. It’s a relocation from Richmond Terrace. Co-owner Bob Wall said they’ll have the deli, bakery, meat, produce and dairy products they’ve carried all along plus brand name everyday needs from detergent and soap to toilet paper. 

JERSEY MIKE’S SUBS

This sub shop is slated to open September 9, a late summer/early fall debut. It’s currently under construction on Mall Drive in Grand Chute, in the same multi-tenant building as Five Guys. It’s a franchise in the national Jersey Mike’s Subs chain, which has about 2,500 locations around the country. 

JIFFY LUBE

The auto repair and maintenance shop has opened at 3901 N. Richmond St., in front of Meijer in Grand Chute. No appointment is necessary. 

JUDY’S ITALIAN ICE AND GELATO

The bright pink ice cream shop is under construction at 745 W. College Ave., a building that at one time housed King’s Barber Shop. It will have more than 50 flavors of homemade gelato and more than 20 flavors of Italian ice. The opening is scheduled for mid July.

LUSH

Customers can’t go inside the new Fox River Mall Lush store on the central corridor just yet, but as of today, Friday, they can order online and pick up products from a mobile desk set up in front of the store. They will also be able to make on-the-spot credit/debit card purchases. Lush has not yet announced the date customers may go inside the store. Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics, founded in the U.K., is known for skincare, haircare and bath products like soaps and bath bombs. Its guiding principles include having low environmental impact, supporting fair trade and no animal testing. 

REI CO-OP

REI Co-op will open its doors September 4, the Friday before Labor Day. REI is an outdoor retailer selling gear, apparel and adventure travel packages. The 20,000-square-foot store is at the northeast corner of Wisconsin Avenue and Interstate 41, in the WG&R-led retail development. It will be the third REI in Wisconsin, after Brookfield and Madison. When it begins hiring its staff of 45 employees, information will be on REI.com/jobs. 

THE SOURCE BUILDING

The building that formerly housed The Source Public House at 890 Lake Park Road in Menasha was purchased recently by two local investors and could come back to life as a restaurant. Its timeline is unknown. “We are still working on ideas for this property and interviewing restaurant operators. The neighborhood is very anxious to know what is happening and what is coming, but no decisions yet,” said Bob Rossi, one of the investors.

Contact reporter Maureen Wallenfang at 920-993-7116 or [email protected] Follow her on Twitter at @wallenfang.

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