Word on the Street: Fresno Brewing Company is part of downtown revitalization

December 25, 2011 

Ephiram and Sara Bosse want to see downtown Fresno revitalized. So when they started talking about opening a coffee shop a year ago, it was only natural to find a location downtown.

"We really have a heart for wanting to see downtown be revitalized and for people to come down and feel comfortable here," Ephiram Bosse said. "We felt like if it was going to happen, we needed to be a part of it."

The couple opened the Fresno Brewing Company on Dec. 1 in a 4,000-square-foot shop south of the CVS drugstore on the Fulton Mall. But don't get it confused with the historic Fresno Brewing Company building at M and Heaton streets, which once employed 1,000 people to make and distribute beer throughout the Valley.

The cafe serves coffee, specialty drinks and pastries. They plan to brew their own beer next year.

One of their signature drinks is called the Aztec Warrior, a mocha made with Mexican chocolate and three shots of espresso. It was inspired by customers from the nearby health department looking for an extra kick, Ephiram Bosse said.

The space allows the couple to organize events such as movie screenings and an upcoming science fair for adults.

"We want a place where people can come experience their community, participate in their community and be able to share ideas," he said.

Valley Voice silenced

The Valley Voice, a Visalia-based newspaper that operated for 32 years, has shut down, a victim of declining advertising revenue and a sluggish economy.

The paper's last edition was last week.

Publisher George Lurie, who took over the newspaper about a year and a half ago, said the paper already was struggling financially and a protracted legal battle over the publishing of legal advertising had taken a toll.

Lurie said the paper employed 22 people at one time but had trimmed its staff to about a half dozen.

The paper's board of directors will meet Tuesday to discuss restructuring and reopening next year, Lurie said. "But I would say those chances are pretty slim. This is going to be a tough Christmas."

Family Dollar debut

Family Dollar is planning to open a store at the northwest corner of Shaw and Clovis avenues this spring.

The store will take over the former 10,000-square-foot A & M Carpets spot next to the Grocery Outlet, said Steve Rontell, a commercial retail broker with Colliers Tingey.

Family Dollar is a Charlotte, N.C.-based chain with 6,800 stores in 44 states.

BoNhia Lee, Robert Rodriguez and Bethany Clough contributed to Word on the Street. It was compiled by Lee. The reporter can be reached at blee@fresnobee.com or (559)441-6495.

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