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Massena storefront may become cafe/bakery

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MASSENA - A long vacant downtown storefront may see new life this fall as a cafe/bakery.

Danny H. McDermott of Louisville plans to open “The Cakery” at 2 Main St. as early as September. The village planning board unanimously approved Mr. McDermott’s plans at a meeting on Wednesday.

The store will feature baked goods, cakes for order, and breakfast and lunch items, Mr. McDermott said. It will tentatively operate seven days a week from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m, and will include seating for up to 20.

“Just about everything is going to be from scratch,” Mr. McDermott said. “We hope everybody enjoys us.”

The building, adjacent to the Grasse River, previously housed a diving equipment store, but it has sat vacant for nearly 20 years. Mr. McDermott said he recently purchased it.

“The store was the right size. It was available to us,” Mr. McDermott said. “Hopefully this will be the right time to make a move on Main Street.”

“We realize the store front is an eyesore and will be replacing it with a new storefront,” Mr. McDermott wrote in his letter of intent to planning board members. “This will help with the revitalization of downtown Massena.”

Mr. McDermott is a native of Staten Island and worked at bagel stores and pizzerias in New York City when he was younger. He moved to the area in 1998, lives in Louisville and works as a registered nurse at the St. Lawrence Psychiatric Center in Ogdensburg.

Mr. McDermott said he and his family look forward to giving downtown a try. He said it was unfortunate to see a handful of vacant storefronts nearby and recent announcements of other closures. Clopman’s Furniture recently announced it was ending its 83-year run downtown, and Lot 57 liquor store shuttered its doors several weeks ago.

But he was encouraged by the Business Development Corporation for a Greater Massena’s recent efforts at renewal, and hoped he could be a part of that revitalization.

“We love Massena. We hate to see how many stores have just shut right down,” he said. “We’re thrilled to be able to find a place on Main Street. I think it would be good for the community.”

Mr. McDermott said he and his family will initially staff the store and will look to hire additional employees if business takes off. He is working with the state Department of Health to get approval to install a kitchen at the location.

Mr. McDermott said been searching for the right spot for some time, and downtown was a good fit.

“On a personal level we’d love to see Main Street hustling and bustling again,” he said.

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