An Evanston-based gelato manufacturer plans to open a new retail shop on Dempster Street this spring.

Frio Gelato, which operates from a building at 1701 Simpson St., is seeking a special use permit from the city to open the retail shop at 517 Dempster, between the Blind Faith Cafe and the Murphy’s Fit shoe store.

Co-owner Sebastian Koziura said at the city’s Design and Project Review Committee meeting Wednesday that business was really good at the storefront shop in front of his production facility last summer, but there’s little foot traffic on Simpson and he didn’t see enough retail business to keep that location open through the winter.

Sebastian Koziura.

So while production continues there for the firm’s wholesale customers, the retail shop on Simpson has been closed since October. Koziura said he hopes to re-open for retail sales there on April 1 — the same time he hopes to open the new location on Dempster.

Koziura said he plans to change the color of the awning out front of the Dempster location to his company’s signature light blue, but otherwise plans no changes to the exterior of the space, which has been the location of the Blue Pearl Stone countertop company.

Koziura said the new shop will have two employees and that he has no plans to add a sidewalk cafe.

The DAPR committee recommended approval of the special use permit, which still needs approval from the Zoning Board of Appeals and the City Council.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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