By: Robin Ford Wallace, Reporter
When the Dade County Library finally moves back into its permanent building after almost two years’ absence, the staff and patrons won’t be the only ones made happy. Zack and Lynda Ditmar, who own the Jo Mama’s sandwich shop next door to the library’s temporary quarters, have been waiting since they opened last summer for the library space to come free so they could expand into it.
“The day that they say, ‘We’re out of here,’ we’ll be doing something,” said Zack Ditmar. “A lot of times its standing room only in here.”
Jo Mama’s opened in July 2011, he said, and at that time the library expected to be in the adjoining storefront only until September or October. “So we were looking for the expansion back last year, and every month there was another delay,” he said.
“Hopefully we’ll be able to expand and have our one-year celebration at the same time,” said Lynda Ditmar.
She said Jo Mama’s will honor the anniversary on Aug. 1 whether it has managed to expand by then or not, with free T-shirts for the first 25 customers among other festivities
The Ditmars say their expansion will be more to the dining space than to the kitchen: They will open the hall between the two suites so that guests can flow back and forth between them as well as revamping the bathrooms to accommodate more customers.
At the same time – and listen up, this is the important bit – the Ditmars will also expand their menu to include – yes! – ice cream.
“We’re going to start doing banana splits, hot fudge cake, hot fudge sundaes, dipped ice cream, and a few surprises I have,” said Ms. Ditmar.
The library moved into the three-suite storefront office building across from Gross Furniture last spring after its first temporary location was damaged by April 27’s tornados. The third storefront, the most southerly one, has sat vacant during the library’s occupancy but is shortly to be taken over by a yoga studio, say the Ditmars.