Grato means grateful in Italian.
And the owners of Grato trattoria in West Palm Beach must be feeling plenty grateful for their ability to buy the building next door to their new eatery.
In January, the Grato ownership group quietly paid $600,000 for 1905 S. Dixie Highway, the former Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League Thrift Shop, according to county property records.
That’s the same month Grato opened its doors for business next door at 1901 S. Dixie Highway.
So is this new space for a future expansion of Grato?
Not necessarily, said Sam Slattery, Grato’s operating partner.
But Slattery also wouldn’t rule out a restaurant use in the future.
Right now, the group plans to use the building for retail space. At 4,500 square feet, the property can be split into two, 2,200 square foot stores, he said.
“Our plan is to stick to our knitting and work on Grato,” Slattery said.
Down the line, however, Slattery said it’s possible Grato might build a sister restaurant in this space, perhaps with a different concept.
The idea has precedent.
The side-by-side eateries share the Buccan kitchen, an arrangement that could be copied if Grato turns the old thrift shop into an eatery, too, Slatter said.
In the meantime, plans are to fix the exterior, install glass doors in the front and the back and start leasing the space by the end of the summer, Slattery said.
The purchase of the Peggy Adams thrift store marks the second purchase by the Buccan group of land on sizzling South Dixie Highway, which during the past three years has attracted an increasing number of investors and business owners.
The group bought the 1901 S. Dixie Highway building in November 2014. The building previously was home to Reward Lighting, so the space needed to be completely retrofitted to accommodate a restaurant.
The Grato group includes Slattery, chef Clay Conley and Piper Quinn, who handles marketing and development.