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Quiche or Condos?

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Miss the tomato-basil soup from Scrumptious? Landlord and woodworker Ken Axelson is still searching for a restaurateur to take over Old North End corner formerly occupied by the much-loved café. One plan already fell through. If he can't find a tenant, Axelson explains, he may be forced to turn the place into an office or apartment. "I'm getting to the point where I'm going to have to do something with it," he says.

Although Axelson believes a breakfast and lunch restaurant would be an excellent addition to the neighborhood, he doesn't want to preclude any possibilities. "I want people to try to bring in some ideas. I'm gonna keep it available for a while longer to see what will happen," he says. "The apartment thing is the last resort, I guess."

* At the eastern end of the 'hood, on North Winooski Avenue, Viva Espresso is optimistically switching to its spring hours this week - 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays, and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekends. The iced coffee is back, too. Upgrades include fresh-made Dinky Donuts in maple and chocolate and Vermont Milk Company cheeses for sandwiches.

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