“We’ve been on Main Street for 22 years and East Greenwich has been very good to us,” said Marie Schaller, who owns the business with her husband, David. “We’re ready for a new challenge and hoping to gain a few more customers.”
Schaller said the new building at 28 Gilbane St. is similar in size to the current site at 219 Main St. but the access is easier, the layout is better, and there will be at least 12 parking spaces.
The parking spaces are no small matter. Over the years, the Schallers have held the town to account when new businesses have moved to Main Street looking for a zoning variance for parking. The biggest showdown took place in 2010, when the Schallers filed an appeal in Superior Court of a Zoning Board decision to grant Thorpe’s & Verdi gift store a parking variance so it could open at 214 Main St.
The Schallers argued they were not anti-business, but rather wanted to keep the few available parking spaces on Main Street open for their customers.
Thorpe’s & Verdi was eventually allowed to open but closed its doors by 2012.
“I wish good luck to everybody in the area,” said Marie Schaller. “I hope everybody continues to be successful.”
One of their main reasons for moving was because they want to be more visible from the road. That wasn’t possible on Main Street, said Schaller.
“If you’re driving along, you’re not going to be looking at the shops because you’d hit a pedestrian,” said Schaller. “It’s very hard to see us.”
East Greenwich resident Jay Patel, owner of several Orange Leaf locations – including the one at 1000 Division St. – bought the building at 219 Main St. There is a large “for rent” sign on the building.
As for when the move will happen, they’ve still got a couple months left in their shop on Main Street . It will remain open through Easter or longer, said Schaller, depending on how long it takes to renovate the new building.
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