East Coast Original Frozen Custard will return to Fairview Park in 2016. Dave Bobeczko, who owns and operates East Coast Custard locations in Mentor and Painesville, said he plans to open a store on Lorain Road this spring.
“I’m working on it as hard as I can,” he said.
The custard store will be located at the southeast corner of West 227th Street and Lorain Road on vacant property currently owned by the city.
An ordinance permitting Bobeczko’s company, Sub Zero Properties, to purchase the property was placed on first reading at Fairview Park City Council’s Dec. 7 meeting.
The purchase price is stated as $75,000 in the proposed ordinance. However, the sale agreement is structured so that $10,000 will be in the form of a promissory note to be forgiven if the property is developed and opened for business within 12 months of the title transfer.
An additional $5,000 of the purchase price will be paid in a refundable earnest money payment, a deposit made to a seller showing the buyer’s good faith in a transaction. Earnest money is typically held jointly by the seller and buyer in a trust or escrow account. The payment will only be refunded if the deal is canceled.
The $60,000 main payment will be made at the time of the title transfer, according to the proposed legislation.
Formerly home to a gas station, the property has been vacant since March 2009. In 2013, Mayor Eileen Patton persuaded TrueNorth Energy to donate the third-of-an-acre site to the city. It has been in the city’s land bank ever since.
Bobeczko, who resides in Concord Township, said he expects the real estate transaction to be completed in January. Construction on the new building will begin in February if weather permits, he told West Life. Bobeczko’s goal is to open around April 15.
The new East Coast Custard will have a drive-thru but no indoor seating, Bobeczko said. However, benches will be placed in front of the walk-up service windows, he said.
In September, the East Coast Custard store at Lorain and Story roads closed with little notice. News of the closing on social media caused longtime customers to flock to the store on its last day of operations. The inability to reach an agreement on rent led to the closure, franchise co-owner Nancy Long said at the time. Fairview Park development Director Rob Berner later told West Life that Long had a new buyer in place, but the deal fell through when the property owner, Michael Patton (no relation to the mayor), raised the rental price.
Bobeczko’s interest in a Fairview Park East Coast Custard location came to light in October when Berner announced Bobeczko had purchased the franchise rights for the area, as well as the equipment of the recently closed store.
Bobeczko, whose father is a minority partner in his stores, has owned the Mentor store for 11 years and the Painesville store for six.
“It’s a fun business to run,” he said.
Custard, yogurt and shakes in various flavors are among East Coast Custard’s most popular offerings. Bobeczko said he plans to add cakes and more take-home products to the new store’s menu.