American Reserve Clothing
A new store in Armory Square sells menswear and a new way to think about clothing.
It’s called “conscientious consumerism,” said Clifford Carey, owner of American Reserve Clothing Co., 208 Walton St. The idea is to be more aware of the greater impacts of buying habits and where our products come from. For instance, think about buying a shirt that was made locally by a small business vs. purchasing one that was made internationally and possibly under unsafe working conditions.
“There are items in our store where I can tell you where the cotton was picked from and where the denim mill it was sent to is,” Carey said.
The store is a hub for brands that embody the “local spirit,” Carey said. While not all of them are local to Central New York, the clothing is all made with high-quality materials and should last
Carey spent more than 15 years in the business, sales and marketing world. He recently served as a vice president of communications at EarQ Group, a marketing firm that specialized in providing business solutions to healthcare practices.
While he enjoyed what he did, Carey said, “I was looking for something that let me be more creative and work with creatives.”
He homed in on clothing because of what he described as the feelings people have about their appearance. A nice wardrobe can give people confidence, make them “stand taller, smile brighter” and generally change their mindset.
American Reserve began in mid-September as an online shop, but a brick-and-mortar store was always the goal. Carey originally wanted a location on Fayette or South Salina street for higher visibility, but praised the pedestrian accessibility, scenery and camaraderie found in Armory Square. The shop opened for business Nov. 17 to twice the number of patrons as Carey originally estimated.
The store is open Mondays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Tuesdays through Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; and Sundays, noon to 6 p.m. For information, visit americanreserveshop.com.
Rise and Grind Cafe
Martita Richardson lives near Camillus with her three children. She has run Nestico’s Too restaurant out of the Rite Aid Plaza along West Genesee Street for about 10 years.
As both a local resident and business owner, Richardson felt the western suburb was lacking a hangout space. If you wanted to meet a friend, you usually planned to rendezvous at Wegmans.
“I wanted to open a place where you can meet up with your friends or bring a date,” Richardson said, thus sparking her idea to start a coffee shop. After a year of planning, Richardson opened Rise and Grind Café in the same plaza as her restaurant, at 4119 W. Genesee St.
Richardson noted that initial business has been better than expected. They exceeded their customer goals in November and are already noticing some regulars. “When do you open a business and have people thanking you?” Richardson asked.
The café is a different pace from the sit-down Nestico’s Too, and focuses more on grab-and-go, although customers are free to sit and eat in the cafe. There are 10 tables for small groups and a longer table that can seat eight toward the back.
The space is decorated with rustic and contemporary elements, such as the cherry-red metal chairs at each table. Worn wooden signs on the walls pay homage to Richardson’s mission for the business: “Good eats,” “Coffee” and “Gather.” Oversized Scrabble tiles spell out the café’s name along a wall near the creamers and sugars.
Armchairs and wood-slab stools huddle around a coffee table in front of a fireplace and bookshelf. Richardson said several times she’s seen families come in and occupy the space, including children with cups of the café’s gourmet hot chocolate and parents with coffee and newspapers.
The menu features coffees, teas and espressos, with a few takeaway items like cookies, breakfast sandwiches and salads. But Richardson said that several people have asked for more food options, so she’s considering adding paninis and other sandwiches to the mix.
Rise and Grind Café is open Mondays through Fridays, 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturdays, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Sundays, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.