DRI: Renovation brewing at future Happy Mug site in Gloversville


Baristas make a caramel macchiato at The Happy Mug inside the Agora Marketplace on North Main Street in Gloversville.

When Tanyalynnette Grimes bought 13 North Main Street in January of 2020, she said the building was in such disarray that 133 tons of garbage had to be removed. What’s more, she said pigeons had overtaken the third floor, leaving piles of waste standing 3-feet tall. 

But instead of seeing a wasteland in the space that’s been vacant since the mid 2010s, Grimes saw promise. 

“To me, if it’s got good bones, it is still worth saving,” Grimes said. “I love the history and old architecture. So those are the bones that you can see.” 

Her vision for the 3-story, 12,000-square-foot space, which was once an 1852 hardware store before more recently housing the Matty the Jeweler shop, is included in Gloversville’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative application. 

Grimes, who is the owner of Micropolis Development Group, is envisioning a gourmet coffee shop – The Happy Mug – on the first floor, collaborative working space in a warehouse section across a mezzanine, and operating offices on the upper floors. 

More: All our DRI coverage – and Gloversville coverage as a whole

Micropolis owns seven businesses in Gloversville – including The Apothecary by Essentially Simple, Agora Marketplace and Kingsboro Golf Club. The development firm is requesting $1 million in DRI funding for the renovation project, which is currently underway and is expected to cost about $2.5 million in total, according to Grimes.

The site fits into the city’s overall plan for downtown becoming a hub for artists and entrepreneurs because the downtown storefront can serve as a “third place” – not home, not work–where people can meet, relax and work. 

Grimes said the coffee shop will host live entertainment, serve locally roasted coffee and feature a menu that includes baked goods, smoothies, vegan and vegetarian options, and even boozy coffee-based drinks in the evenings. The collaborative working space will offer amenities like high-tech video conferencing labs and podcasting studios, allowing people to develop their businesses and projects without having to make personal investments in such technology, Grimes said. 

The aesthetic inside the coffee shop will pay homage to the building’s historical roots, with outward facing beams, currently in place, taken from a deconstructed 1870s barn, Grimes said.

That rustic look, in addition to the overall concept, which includes ADA accessibility throughout the building as well as a semi-transparent solar-paneled roof, appealed to the public, leading to the project’s inclusion in the DRI package, according to Grimes.  

“It’s really does the city believe in our project, does it tell a good story, and is the community behind it and supportive of it,” Grimes said. 

The city’s DRI application certainly points to public support.  

“Virtual open house respondents who support this project ‘really love this reuse project’ and state that ‘various plans sound good to me’ as the building detracts from the character of the street in its current condition,” reads the application. “Another commenter wrote, ‘this prominent location and beautiful building deserve some new life.’”   

Andrew Waite can be reached at [email protected] and at 518-417-9338. Follow him on Twitter @UpstateWaite.

More: All our DRI coverage – and Gloversville coverage as a whole

By Andrew Waite

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