Larchmont Avenue Buzzing With New Businesses

by Judy Silberstein

(August 14, 2008) While the rest of Larchmont was on vacation – or maybe staycation – the business district has undergone a number of transformations, especially in the stretch of Larchmont Avenue from the Post Road to Addison Street. Shops and restaurants have been opening, re-opening, moving and contracting.

Here's the buzz:

Auray’s Gourmet has finally finished its move from Palmer Avenue to its newly renovated spot at 144 Larchmont Avenue (corner of Gilder Street and across from Tequila Sunrise). Owners Matthew Peretz, Carolynn Dilworth and her “Uncle Benny” invested months of sweat equity to turn the former home of the Fabric Design Center into a Paris-inspired retail/restaurant combo. Having finally passed the last of many Larchmont Village regulatory hurdles (including installation of a Braille sign for the bathroom) the shop has been opening early for breakfast and closing late into the evening for the past few weeks in response to customer interest, said Mr. Peretz. The new sign, evoking the Paris Metro, will eventually be flanked by coach lights.

AurayGourmet

Meanwhile Fabric Design Center moved last year to 146 Larchmont Avenue, where it continues with the same owners and most of the same decorators. Although the new spot is much smaller than the original shop, “We have access to the same amount of fabrics,” said Barbara McEwan, one of the owners. “It’s working out and it’s a nice fresh pretty look,” she said.

Sachi’s Sushi, on 158 Larchmont Avenue across from Chatsworth Avenue School, reopened quietly at the beginning of August under new ownership, management and staff. A trio of new waitresses explained on their first day open that they will be serving the Sachi menu for now, but will soon be revising their offerings. Sachi closed abruptly on April 10 after the previous owner was arrested in an altercation with an employee. (See: Owner Arrested for Assault.)

Tequila Sunrise at 145 Larchmont Avenue is still missing its popular outdoor tables, having not yet convinced the Village of Larchmont that it can satisfactorily comply with rules on outdoor dining and keep its patrons from making late-night noise. (See: Outdoor Dining Permit Suspended.) Outdoor tables are still available, weather permitting, at España (147 Larchmont Avenue), Soupz (141 Larchmont Avenue) and Sardegna (154 Larchmont Avenue).

Around the corner on Addison Street, an empty lot has become a giant hole in the ground. That’s the foundation going in for a two-story building with a store front and two 1-bedroom apartments upstairs, said, Esther Picone, owner with her father, Zaven Megerditchian, of Carpet Fair a few doors down at 161 Larchmont Avenue. Estimated time of completion? “Early winter, hopefully – depending on the weather,” said Ms. Picone. Carpet Fair will continue in its current spot “without a doubt,” she said.

Also on Addison at #11b, Flower Barn has become Flower Bar as new owners Mark and Ainslee Manley take over the establishment. The focus will still be on floral design, weddings and special occasions, said Mr. Manley, who with his wife and young children moved to Larchmont last year. “We’re hoping to improve the quality, and maybe do floral arrangement classes” and other events, he said. The floral shop will occupy two-thirds of the space; the landlord is renting out the other third separately.

Also near Larchmont Avenue, Angela Ingrao, owner of Cocoa at 2107A Boston Post Road, is partnering with Laurie Vanderwoude to open Bread and Cocoa, a chocolate cafe, directly across the street at 2110 Boston Post Road. "Customers have been asking me to do chocolate in baked form," explained Ms. Ingrao. Renovations should begin soon, now that the project received required approvals from the Larchmont Zoning Board of Appeals in late July. Ms. Ingrao is aiming to open in September or early October.