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Situated on the edge of the newly revitalized University District, The Choo is a family-owned and operated casual dining restaurant housed in the former Buntyn Rail station ticket office. For several years, the building sat vacantly and in disrepair until it was purchased by The Choo owner, Ms. Lisa Snyder-Dandridge in 2015.

Ms. Snyder-Dandridge applied for EDGE’s Inner City Economic Development (ICED) loan and was awarded $25,000 to help with façade improvements to the 2,376 SF building along with retention of four jobs and additional staff build-out.

“This is a prominent building in a highly visible location that needed a different use,” said John Lawrence, EDGE Senior Economic Development Specialist. “After years of neglect and as one of the few commercial buildings left in the neighborhood, it was important to support this project in order to help stabilize the area.”

The ICED loan program is funded from the personal property closing fees from EDGE’s PILOT incentive program and is available to small-business owners operating in New Markets Tax Credit eligible census tracts.  Ms. Snyder-Dandridge plans to use the ICED loan to add some window awnings, paint the exterior, and complete roof repairs.

The Choo is a traditional Southern meat-and-two restaurant featuring fresh salads and all home-cooked sides.  The Choo is open Wednesday through Sunday from 11:00 am – 5:00 pm.