In the summer and early fall of 2002, local developer Bob Hood invited area artists to meet and talk about the possibilities for artists in Cazenovia. The group met a number of times discussing options, how a store might work, and which artists wanted to participate.
The space that is now Dave’s Dinner was then called ‘Common Grounds’. It was a community coffee shop with space in the front section for middle and high school students to ‘hang out’ after school. Bob Hood and members of the community financed and supervised the activities.
A former pizza shop on Sullivan Street north of ‘Common Grounds’ became Cazenovia Artisans. Bob remodeled the space for the artisans on the condition that they could commit to paying $60 each in rent a month, for six months. The ‘complex’ opened on November 2, 2002 and was called “The Shoppes at Common Grounds.”
Within a year, Bob Hood and Cazenovia College decided to replace ‘The Shoppes at Common Grounds’ to make way for new housing and a bookstore for the students at Cazenovia College. Simultaneously, Bob remodeled the old coffee shop, Common Grounds to build the restaurant, Dave’s Diner. In the rear of the restaurant, a large meeting room was furnished with audio / video equipment. Kinney Drug Store moved from its location next to the new diner to the opposite corner of the shopping complex to replace Peter’s Grocery. A Thai restaurant now occupies the old Kinney drugstore space. What is now Cazenovia Artisans, had been a dead end alley filled with weeds and trash and is now the jewel in the crown of the location.
As told by
Sue Ellen Romanowski, Founding member of Cazenovia Artisans
The Shoppes at Common Grounds