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Empty spot in University Square's smile

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Empty spot in University Square's smile

 Even though I'd written about it and know it was coming, the sight of the former Sopra Sotto Italian shop standing empty was kind of jarring.

The empty space on the University Square 's street level puts me in mind of a missing front tooth in a smile.

Here's some from the piece I wrote about Sopra Sotto's exit on June 15.

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After five years in Rochester, it is time for a downtown store to say ciao as it is "re-imagined" in California.

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"It has been a terrific experience," said owner Maureen McNallyof Sopra Sotto's run in the Rochester. "It is just time for a new phase."

Sopra Sotto, which specializes in artisan-made goods directly imported from Italy, first opened in 2006 on the street level of the University Squaremall, 111 S. Broadway.

The 21,000-square-foot space, formerly occupied by a Laura Ashleyclothing store, was re-worked into a unique "Italian living" store with a counter and kitchen to serve coffee and snacks and to host cooking classes.

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She hopes to open a new showroom in Los Angeles by this fall, possibly by the end of September. The business' focus will be reversed from what it is now. The main focus will be on wholesaling goods, though she will continue to sell retail to a lesser degree. Sopra Sotto will do more of its retailing though an expanded online presence.

McNally hopes to also offer more personalized design services for customers as part of this "re-imagining."

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Empty spot in University Square's smile

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