NIAGARA FALLS – The newest storefront on Old Falls Street opened just in time for the busy Memorial Day weekend.
Hershey’s Sweet Treats opened May 23 in the Sheraton at the Falls, Old Falls and Third streets, in what was an additional seating area for the Starbucks located in the hotel’s ground floor.
The new shop sells candy, ice cream, milkshakes, cupcakes and cookies, items hotel management believes will attract families both staying in the hotel and also just visiting the Falls.
“We felt like it would complement the overall offerings of the hotel,” said Geoffrey Reeds, the hotel’s sales and marketing director.
The shop is run by the hotel, which hired four full-time employees to run it, Reeds said.
The size of the new shop is between 400 and 500 square feet, with plans to add some outdoor seating. The Starbucks remains open, with a manager overseeing the operation of both shops.
To start, the Hershey’s shop will be open from 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week. The hotel plans to keep it open year-round.
The opening of a new storefront on Old Falls Street has not happened as often as city economic development officials would like.
The city and the state spent $12 million rebuilding the eastern and western portions of Old Falls Street, with the most recently completed work unveiled on the western portion of the street about four years ago. The work included cobblestones, new streetlights and other infrastructure work, which allowed for vehicular traffic to return to the roadway, a bustling area in the city’s heyday.
While there are still places on the street that show little or no activity, there are others where progress is evident.
The Conference & Event Center Niagara Falls opened on the street in 2004. Niagara County Community College opened its $26 million Niagara Falls Culinary Institute in the fall of 2012. There’s also an entrance on Old Falls to Smokin Joe’s Native Center on First Street, which opened last spring.
In terms of the near future, the Hamister Group is moving ahead with plans for a $25.3 million hotel, apartment and retail project at Old Falls Street and Rainbow Boulevard.