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RENAISSANCE COOP ANNOUNCES SERIES OF FINANCIAL GIFTS

The proposed Renaissance Community CoOp in Northeast Greensboro took another step toward its budget goals this week with the announcement of two major gifts.

RCC supporters have raised some $1.6 million toward the anticipated $1.8 million needed to launch the community-owned grocery store on Phillips Avenue.

Mount Zion Baptist Church committed $40,000 to the project, to be paid in increments of $10,000 beginning next month.

“This effort not only feeds the citizens of Greensboro, literally, but also clothes them by creating job opportunities which create shelter”, said Pastor Bryan J. Pierce, Sr., Senior Pastor.

Cone Health Foundation and Cone Health will each contribute $10,000 toward RCC in memory of Frank Mascia, a former Cone Health Foundation board chair. Mascia passed away in February.

“Cone Health was a benefactor of Frank’s incredible spirit and leadership. He never backed away from a challenge and food insecurity in our community is a real challenge. There is nothing more fundamental to the health of those we serve than access to healthy food,” said Terry Akin, chief executive officer, Cone Health.

RCC also received a $10,000 grant from the Food Co-Op Initiative, which aims to improve the success rate of “new food cooperatives delivering access to healthy food in diverse communities across this country.”

Funds raised will be used for start-up costs to include leasehold improvements, equipment, inventory, pre-opening expenses, contingency on start-up costs, and operating capital including hiring the general manager, RCC announced in a statement released Tuesday morning.

HARLEM EXPRESS COMING TO SOUTH ELM STREET IN DOWNTOWN GREENSBORO

If it’s jazz in Greensboro then you know the Boston family is close by.

Clarence Boston confirmed to YES!

Weekly that he plans to open Harlem Express at 310 S. Elm St. this weekend.

The Bostons ran a former bistro downtown before selling the business then known as Harlem Bistro. Business faltered for the new owner, Boston said.

“The people wanted us to bring it back, but we’re not going to go as intense as we did with the old spot,” Boston said in a telephone interview. He said Harlem Express will focus on a limited menu of items popular at the previous spot, including shrimp and grits, catfish, pork belly tacos and lemon pepper salmon.

“It’s going to be a great menu,” Boston said. “Not as big as the old menu, but it will be to the point.”

Clarence Boston’s father, Michael Boston, runs the popular Boston’s House of Jazz, now located on Arnold Street.

The Harlem Express will bring back many of its former staff, including chefs. Danielle Washington will be the operations manager.

The location at 310 S. Elm St. is undergoing a remodeling, Boston said, including the addition of a patio for live outdoor music.

“We kind of want to do something on Sundays like a jazz brunch,” Boston said. “It’s definitely going to be a hip spot.”

A web presence and social media streams are being created, Boston said, but the Harlem Express will be open Wednesday through Sunday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., with extended hours on the weekend that will include a late-night menu.

Boston said he was excited to become part of the development taking place in the 300 block of South Elm Street.

“That block is definitely on the come up with Cheesecake’s by Alex and my neighbor 1618,” Boston said. “We think that’s going to attract a higher income bracket on the block. It’s just a good block.”

Boston lives in Charlotte now but says he can see downtown moving in a positive direction.

“I have a lot of faith in Downtown Greensboro,” he said. !

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