Emporium Market is getting a spin-off inside the Nittany Mall. The new restaurant — to be called Emporium Edibles — will take over the spot vacated earlier this year by RC's Dogs with an eye toward a mid-July opening.
Owners K.C. Peck and Aimee Conklin are still working out the specifics of the menu, but expect it to include items like smoothies, fresh fruit and salads.
"We're going to start and let the community tell us what they want. That's pretty much what we did (with Emporium)," Peck said.
Emporium specializes in goods that were handmade by local artists. The inventory encompasses everything from scented soaps to eco-friendly napkins, with some peach jams and apple butter sprinkled in between.
Peck and Conklin entered the mall on a three-month lease in October 2017 and decided to stick around.
"We grew up here and this used to be a strong center. In my mind this is still the place to be," Peck said.
He hasn't noticed a decrease in foot traffic with the loss of anchor stores like Sears and Bon-Ton. Peck sees people walking the mall every day — and they have to eat at some point.
"There's a good base of people that need some good food," Peck said.