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City offers $300K to Allied grocery store prospects

City offers $300K to Allied grocery store prospects

The city of Madison said Wednesday that it's seeking proposals from companies that are interested in bringing a full service, affordable grocery store to a west neighborhood. 

Madison said it is seeking proposals from developers, property owners, and grocery store operators that will establish a grocery store in the Allied Drive neighborhood, which is considered a food desert since the Walgreen's on Verona Road closed last year.

Proposals are due June 15, but a letter of intent to apply is due May 15.

The city said in mid-January that it would provide $300,000 in financial assistance as an incentive to draw a store to the area. The funds will be in the form of a low-interest or partially forgivable loan. 

WATCH: Cooking an Irish feast for St. Patrick’s Day

WATCH as News 3's Mary Jo Ola visits Brocach Irish Pub in Madison Tuesday morning to learn from one of the chefs about cooking an Irish feast for St. Patrick’s Day.

Brocach has two Madison locations, one on the Capitol Square and another on Monroe Street. 

Area Girl Scouts ready for cookie sales season

Friday marks the first day of Girl Scout cookie sales.

News 3 Reporter Mary Jo Ola was at the Girl Scouts of Wisconsin Badgerland Council Center on Madison's south side Friday to talk to the budding entrepreneurs, a group of Daisies, Brownies, Juniors and a Cadette Girl Scout, about the coming sales season.

Visit gsbadgerland.org for more information.

City wants to expand car-sharing options

City wants to expand car-sharing options

The city of Madison is exploring options for expanding car-sharing options for residents.

City Parking Utility Interim Parking Operations Manager Bill Putnam told News 3 there is one car-sharing company operating in Madison and another on the University of Wisconsin campus, but neither operation rents spaces from the city.

A public meeting scheduled for Jan. 28 will include presentations from car-sharing companies.

Putnam said they are early in the process of coming up with ideas to bring more companies to Madison and support the concept of car-sharing in the city.

One outcome is the city could request proposals from companies to rent spaces in city lots and garages.

A release from the city states that car-sharing reduces the need for car ownership and can replace as many as nine to 13 individually-owned vehicles, leading the less congestion, demand for parking and emissions.

Review: Revamped buffet takes food seriously

Review: Revamped buffet takes food seriously

EatDrinkMadison.com reviews U-Like Asian Buffet  

Sometimes a name can be deceiving. When I heard U-Like Asian Buffet was taking over for the space formerly occupied by China One on the west side, I thought it was going to be a gimmicky restaurant. But I still welcomed a recent invitation to dine there, and I discovered a completely revamped establishment that takes food--and decor--seriously.

The buffet ($8.95 at lunch, $12.95 at dinner) includes mostly the Chinese food you would expect: General Tso's chicken, lo mein, dumplings, etc. But there are also items like frog legs and crawfish, plus some American items and desserts, a sushi station, a noodle station and hibachi grill.

Read more at www.eatdrinkmadison.com.

Badgers game brings potential shoppers to Small Business Saturday

Small Business Saturday in Madison saw an extra several thousand potential shoppers on the streets, thanks to the Badgers' final home game.

Whether that additional foot traffic benefits local shops, though, is up in the air.

Mary Carbine, executive director for Madison Central Business Improvement District, says every home game brings big business to small shops in the State Street area.

"What is so much a part of the Badger game experience for many people is visiting State Street and the Capitol square," Carbine said. "Badger athletics is terrific for downtown business and downtown shopping."

The outlook is a little different several blocks away, on Monroe Street. Carol 'Orange' Schroeder, the owner of Orange Tree Imports, says she would prefer home games don't fall on the same Saturday as the first big shopping weekend of the holiday season.

Attempted robber leaves empty handed as workers flee

Attempted robber leaves empty handed as workers flee

A man attempting to rob a west Madison restaurant left empty handed after the employees fled the store, police said.

Madison police said a man entered the Taco Bell on Whitney Way Thursday at 11:37 p.m. and whispered to a store employee to "Shh, come here." The man was wearing a black coat and a black stocking cap pulled down just above his eyes. The man lifted his coat exposing a handgun.

The 22-year-old employee was scared, turned and quickly walked to the back door, police said. As he was leaving he passed the 18-year-old female cook and whispered to her that she should also leave. The cook saw the robber and headed out the back.

Police said there was a customer in the drive-thru unaware of the attempted robbery in progress.