It’s no longer “a women’s Utopia” at 38C Park Street in Essex Junction. Clothing and gift store Lilly Belle’s recently closed and a new tenant will move in soon, says the building’s owner, Sharron Saunders, who also owns the Park Place Tavern farther down the same driveway.
The real surprise is the type of business. Posters at the front of the new store, Cool Runnings, advertise “original finger-licking Jamaican jerk chicken” and Golden Krust brand Jamaican beef patties. When asked about the prospect of Essex’s first Caribbean restaurant, Saunders said she wasn’t aware that Cool Runnings planned to sell food, only clothing and accessories. The new business’ owner, Leroy Hadley, could not be reached for comment by press time. With a big, handwritten sign advertising that Cool Runnings is “coming soon,” we hope we won’t have to wait long for jerk chicken in the Junction.