MERIDEN — Cafe Dolce on West Main Street, which closed last month, will reopen under a new name and ownership Monday morning.
Kuitima Dalipovski bought the business from Paula Brennan and is reopening as the Downtown Coffee Shop.
“I wanted to keep it simple,” Dalipovski said.
Dalipovski, of Waterbury, has been in the restaurant business for 20 years, both as a waitress and a manager. Two years ago, she decided to branch out on her own but kept getting outbid by larger operators. The opportunity at 33 W. Main St. came easier, she said.
”This fell into my lap,” she said. “So many people walk by and ask if we’re opened. I hope this does good.”
The small restaurant is a local favorite for workers at the police/court complex across the street and the Department of Children and Family office at 1 W. Main St.
”We're very pleased that the coffee shop is scheduled to reopen under new ownership and look forward to working with the new owner,” said city Economic Development Director Juliet Burdelski.
Equipment, supplies, decor and furnishings have been purchased and Dalipovski plans to offer coffee, sandwiches, muffins, soups, paninis, grinders and lunch specials in addition to a variety of cheesecakes, parfaits, pies and desserts.
“It’s going to be healthier,” she said.
Dalipovski wants to bring her brand of friendship and customer service to the new
location, and has come to appreciate the city.
“Meriden grows on you,” she said. “It’s like home. Even though a lot of business will be grab and go, I like to serve people and talk. ”
Her staff will be son, Dennis Dalipovski, and a waitress.
“It’s a little family thing,” she said. “I’m excited, I want it to work. I want it to be like home.”
Brennan owned Cafe Dolce for less than a year after buying it from longtime owner and founder Sara Owen. Brennan closed her business for personal reasons, she said last month.
Landlord Ross Gulino and the staff at Making Meriden Business Center worked to find someone interested in a coffee shop and lunch business with a steady clientele.
"It is almost a turn key business," said Lisa Biesak, of Making Meriden Business Center.
"A coffee shop is vital to downtown," added David Cooley, the center's director. “The quick turnaround of the coffee shop is a positive sign that investors and entrepreneurs see opportunities in Meriden.”