Harvest Hub, a food cooperative and juice bar, could locate in part of Carson City’s former Horseshoe Club downtown, according to City Supervisor Karen Abowd.
Abowd, co-owner of Café at Adele’s at 1112 N. Carson St., said the co-op originally proposed in 2014 has been on the back burner until a specific downtown site could be found. The old Horseshoe Club is at 402 N. Carson St.
“It’s a perfect corner,” said Abowd, who also spearheads The Greenhouse Project and has her own decorating business. She cited a rental space rate of $1.45 per square foot for perhaps 2,500 square feet, which includes utilities, in the old club.
The casino’s entry at 402 N. Carson St. is on the northwest corner of North Carson and West Telegraph streets, which is the part that would house the co-op.
Abowd said the co-op board breathed now life into the concept at a meeting before Christmas and would decide on fund-raising strategies soon after the first of next year in hopes the location can be nailed down.
She said the board must deal with financials, flesh out the business model and begin the fund-raising process to obtain from $45,000 to $90,000.
The former casino, which mostly served locals, is owned by Jeanette Kelley. Earlier, Kelley announced plans to abandon gaming and re-convert three buildings, in which the club had been located, back to retailing with apartments or offices above.
The co-op, according to Abowd would take up the corner in the southernmost part of the building trio where the bar and a grease trap were located, with the grease trap among various reasons it’s a good spot.
“This space definitely works,” she said. When the concept was first talked about in early 2014, a figure of $100,000 for startup capital was mentioned.
Abowd said the current concept makes more sense than going into an expensive new structure, such as one owned by the Hop and Mae Adams Foundation. A former jewelry store structure is on that block at 808 N. Curry St.
Abowd said such a new building would have required up to $750,000 to build. It would have housed the co-op and perhaps another tenant, both leasing space.
The city supervisor and business woman said matters should ratchet up after Linda Marrone, who operates the city’s summer downtown farmer’s market, returns from a trip. Marrone is an active spokesperson for the buy and eat local food movement. Marrone had previously said the plan was for a farm-to-market outlet promoting healthy food and a community commercial kitchen.
Abowd said Marrone, Amanda Long, a paralegal who has the website chivecooking.com, and Joyce Buckingham, director of the Ron Wood Resource Center, are among those interested in getting the grocery and food co-op going.
Abowd said Buckingham sees it as a great spot to use as a training facility.
The proposal envisions a juice bar, “grab and go” food items for downtown workers, dry goods and area grown foods, frozen and fresh varieties, potential for cooking classes, and leasing of space for those selling foodstuffs or other wares.
Abowd said funds to get the non-profit started may include not only some for operations, but for equipment and perhaps structure heating alterations.
She said casinos require coolness due to electronics, so heat may prove one order of the day when the co-op goes in.
Abowd said despite the co-op board not meeting through much of 2015, she was certain the idea could be revived when the right spot was found for it.
“It is the right thing for downtown,” she said, noting it could help promote not only foot traffic but help lure people interested in downtown living.
The two-story former Horseshoe Club, which is three buildings in one and can be separated now, includes upstairs office space and apartments.
The former Citibank structure a block west at Telegraph Square also is being converted to retail, office and apartment units.
Abowd said raising funds is key and must be done with speed to preserve the opportunity for locating in Kelley’s building. She said Kelley is excited about the idea, but also, as a business woman, must ponder other options if they develop.
“She loves the idea,” Abowd said of Kelley.