Gateway City grants help Lawrence “Cafeteria” and partnership

September 20, 2023 : The Eagle Tribune, Jill Harmacinski

LAWRENCE — A micro food hall that will have international food options is the recipient of grant money earmarked for rehabilitation projects in Gateway Cities across the state.

MassDevelopment announced the Cafeteria, which is part of a mixed-used development project at 125 Essex St. in Lawrence, will receive $225,000 of the $2.2 million grant pool.

The food hall that will also have a grab-and-go store, cocktail bar and pop-up stores on the first floor of the new development, according to MassDevelopment.

MassDevelopment has previously supported this project.

In June 2023, the agency announced it had partnered with Reading Cooperative Bank to provide $6.57 in loan financing to 115-125 Essex Street LLC, an affiliate of Jowamar Companies, to buy, renovate, and convert two vacant contiguous buildings at 115-123 Essex St. and 125 Essex St. in Lawrence into a new single five-story mixed-use building, where Cafeteria will be housed.

Another $100,000 is going to The Lawrence Partnership in Lawrence to support the build-out of food service kiosks at the Revolving Test Kitchen.

This will allow the shared culinary workspace to expand programming to multiple businesses at the same time, which will increase the number of businesses incubated in the space and will stagger opening times to create regular hours for customers from Northern Essex Community College and the wider community, according to the announcement.