Mollica’s Italian Market and Deli owners Toni and Jerry Mollica plan to open a second restaurant during October.
At 7,500 square feet, the Mollica’s in the Broadmoor Towne Center will offer seating for 70 and feature both a deli and a bakery.
“We’ve been looking for the right place for the past 10 years,” said Jerry Mollica, who opened the first Mollica’s at 985 Garden of the Gods Road with his mom, Toni, and dad, Dominic, 22 years ago. “This new place (1872 Southgate Road) is a very good location. We’ve got the Broadmoor, Fort Carson and downtown and we’re right in the middle of it all.”
The Mollicas will keep their meat production (sausage and meatballs) at the Garden of the Gods location, but have pasta production at the new facility.
Mollica’s South will offer fresh Niman meat from Chicago, as well as fresh Colorado beef, and they’ll be flying in fresh seafood. The new place will offer a variety of cheeses, olives, Boar’s Head meats, Italian deserts and breads.
Jerry Mollica has already begun hiring 30 to 35 new employees. While restaurants and small businesses nationwide look for ways to cut costs amid a recession that has spanned 18 months, Mollica’s is looking for kitchen and wait staff, management and grocery workers.
This fact isn’t lost on Mollica, who oozes confidence as he talks about the opening of his family’s latest venture.
“It’s scary to open a new place in any economy, but when you come down to this area, you see how busy it is,” he said. “If anything, the Garden of the Gods Road area has been heavily affected by the economy, with its high-tech closings and movings. That has definitely affected our lunch and dinner business, but the market is still strong for our retail items. Our sausage is pretty much a staple for a lot of people’s houses in the area. As far as the new location goes, it’s a lot of work to get this going, but people are very excited to see us going in here and we’re looking forward to serving families down here.”
Downtown urban garden
Sam Holt was studying the property outside Plush Designs this spring when an idea struck him.
The general manager of the downtown kitchen and bath dealer thought about what his college-age daughter had said.
“She had given me grief about watering in an area that was mostly grass and weeds,” he said. “At the same time, I thought about a few of the homeless people who had stopped by looking for work. So I thought a garden might make for an interesting experiment.”
With blessings from Plush Designs owners Mark and Cathy Plush, Holt plowed a 30-by-30 foot plot on the property at the corner of South Wahsatch Avenue and Cucharras Street.
Holt and Cathy Plush planted onions, chilies and squash, as well as beans, peas, corn, pumpkins, cantaloupe, watermelon and carrots. They then invited neighbors and community members to share in the upkeep and harvest of the garden.
“We started with the purpose of allowing everyone to help themselves to the harvest and we did have one homeless person plant some seeds,” Holt said. “He has a couple of rows he’s been tending to.”
Scott Prater covers retail for the Colorado Springs Business Journal.