Just a year after opening a small breakfast café in a strip mall in Brookfield on 31st Street just east of Maple Avenue, Mary Shengoz is ready for the second act to begin.
This summer, Shengoz will move the restaurant, called Mary’s Morning Mix Up, to 9110 Broadway Ave. in the Eight Corners business district.
“We’re shooting for June,” said Shengoz. “It is going to be a big project. It is a little scary, because it’s basically a shell. But I plan on being there until I’m 90.”
Shengoz bought the former home to Giron’s Ristorante back in November 2014 for $75,000 and plans on performing a complete inside and outside overhaul of the existing building.
In addition to a 100-seat restaurant that would be open daily from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m., Shengoz wants to build out a full kitchen in the basement of the building to house a bakery and catering operation.
While Mary’s does provide catering services now, it’s very difficult to achieve inside the small kitchen on 31st Street. The bakery would produce items Shengoz doesn’t have the ability to handle now, like breads, pastries and coffeecakes.
“It’s just too small,” Shengoz said of the 40-seat dining room she operates now. “I’ve outgrown it in a year, which is phenomenal.”
With the additional space on Broadway, “I’ve got room and manpower now.”
Meanwhile, when Mary’s Morning Mix Up moves into the new location, the 31st Street space will transform into Petey Jalapeno, which Shengoz envisions as a place where customers can grab burritos, tacos and tortas.
While there will be tables for customers to eat in, service will be handled at the counter and “it’ll be more of a fast food concept, in and out,” said Shengoz.
When Shengoz opened Mary’s Morning Mix Up in January 2014 she planned on expanding her operations into the rest of the strip mall. But parking would have been an ongoing issue, she said, and the cost didn’t justify investing in a property she didn’t own.
The Broadway Avenue property was on her radar, but it was tangled in foreclosure proceedings and wasn’t firmly in the hands of the bank until the fall of 2014.
For almost 40 years, the Broadway Avenue building was home to Fingerhut Bakery, which closed in 2005, when the owners sold the building for $325,000 to a couple who wanted to start their own bakery there.
But the business never gained traction and by 2007, Giron’s had taken over the space. In the meantime, the couple who purchased the building from Fingerhut had taken out a $600,000 mortgage on the property.
By 2011, when Giron’s moved out, the property was already embroiled in legal action, and in 2013 the lender foreclosed.
At some point, a tenant was identified and some build-out work was completed inside. But that prospect fizzled. The unfinished walls still stand.
All of that will be cleared away to accommodate a “wide-open floor plan” for Mary’s, said Shengoz.
“I wanted to stay in Brookfield,’ she said. “I love the clientele and my customers for the most part are from Brookfield. I’ve made a name here; why not stay?”