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Heard on the Street: Movies and macchiato to come together at Gray Duck

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Two small Rochester businesses — Gray Duck Theaterand Fiddlehead Coffee Co.— are joining forces to bring caffeine and cinema together.

Movie enthusiast Andy Smithand his projectionist, Jacob Speckhard, are working to revamp the former A Beautiful Soul/Culligan Waterstorefront at 619 Sixth Ave. NW into a 66-seat "microcinema" movie theater. The project is awaiting permits at the moment, but they hope to start showing independent, classic and documentary films there by the holiday season.

One of Smith’s goals for the specialty theater is to foster community and support other small Med City businesses. That line of thinking led him to the like-minded Sarah Phelanand her brother-in-law/business partner Patrick Phelanof Fiddlehead Coffee.

The duo launched their coffee shop inside the Forager Brewing Co.in northwest Rochester about a year ago. That relationship wrapped up recently, and they decided to launch a much-grander, downtown version of Fiddlehead in the new Flats on 4th apartment complex.

As part of that transition, the Phelans have started reaching out to other businesses to work as a supplier/trainer/consultant to bring set up coffee operations inside places like the under-construction restaurant Cameo in the downtown Armory/Castle Communityproject and Smith’s Gray Duck.


"It’s a good partnership. They believe in coffee to unify people to connect and make a community. We think much the same about film," Smith said.

The plan is for Gray Duck to operate as a full-time coffee shop serving Fiddlehead coffee daily and showing films through the weekend. The coffee shop would stay open during the two nightly movie showings.

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