Valparaiso’s Central Park attracts snack shops
By James D. Wolf Jr. Post-Tribune correspondent November 15, 2011 5:04PM
Updated: December 17, 2011 8:23AM
VALPARAISO — The new downtown Central Park is attracting businesses around it.
The latest is Kernels and Korn, an ice cream, popcorn and sweet shop, which plans to move into the lower level of 56 Indiana Ave.
Co-owners Jeff Butterfield and Eric Hein, both Valparaiso residents, brought plans for the business before the city’s Site Review Committee on Tuesday and got generally favorable comments.
The building now houses Wagner Architecture at 54 Indiana and Old World Market in the front.
Kernels and Korn’s main entrance will face the park and the stage on the park’s south side and will offer flavored popcorn and caramel corn, flavored soft-serve ice cream, handmade waffle cones, chocolate-dipped pretzels and Oreos, as well as coffee and hot chocolate in winter.
“Lots of people go to Chicago for caramel corn,” Butterfield said.
He and Hein hope to keep them here and to get after-dinner walkers and people visiting the park.
They plan to open in spring. Seating won’t be available inside the shop.
Fire Inspector Jack Johnson expressed concern the small space will fill quickly during events and suggested that employees remain mindful of whatever maximum occupancy will be.
Hein said, “That’s one of the reasons we don’t have anything for them to remotely rest on.”
A businessman previously appeared before site review in March 2010 to sell hotdogs in the space, but his unexpected illness changed that.
West of the park and across the street at 541/2 Lafayette, a sign on the brightly painted Sticky Fingers Candy Co. states that business will open soon. No date is given.
Building Commissioner Vicki Thrasher said Sticky Fingers was using the existing space and didn’t need to come before the Site Review Committee.