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Take me to Sparky Town

Another cafe brightens Burnet Street, -at the corner of Catherine:

Sparky Town proprietress Linda "Sparky" Mortimer didn't choose Syracuse, instead, "It picked me," she said.

Raised in the fast pace of downstate's Brooklyn and the island, Sparky found her way to the Adirondacks, where she had a little variety store-luncheonette.

"It was like 'Fried Green Tomatoes,'" she said.

But ultimately the mountain region was too isolating. Then she met someone from Syracuse, and made the move, finding the perfect balance between her two previous environs.

"I thought this was great middle ground," Sparky said, "a city with a small town attitude, friendly people, and affordable, so I could own a house here, a car..."

And as it turned out, she now owns a business -- Sparky Town on the corner of Burnet and Catherine on the site of the former New Central Cafe, and most recently a Manhattan Billy's incarnation of the Barge Inn.

Sparky has not only poured her heart and soul into the endeavor, but her life's savings as well. Besides being the owner, she is also the chef.

At six weeks in, she is developing her business in phases. Phase one was to open for lunch. Phase two she started opening at 6 a.m. for coffee drinks, tea and cocoa and grab-and-go goodies. The next phase, she isn't sure whether she will try a couple nights for dinner or open up with a full breakfast, which also happens to be her favorite meal to prepare. Another nudge for the later, is that people stopping in for coffee, are also inquiring about a hot breakfast. She is drawing from the reemerging Hawley Green neighborhood.

Street of gems

Burnet has always had its own flavor:

"I always loved this building, so I took a chance between not ideal parking and a neighborhood on the verge," Sparky said. She does not have a parking lot, but there is plenty of on street parking on Burnet.

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