Michael Kafantaris saw an opportunity at Shields Market.

He watched as the market, a Fan District mainstay that operated across North Shields Street from his Joe's Inn restaurant, experienced dwindling sales under a previous owner.

Kafantaris approached the owner about taking over the space and buying out his interest in the market. Shields Market closed in late August.

Kafantaris figured he could use the market space as a place where his customers could pick up their takeout orders. He already does that at the Joe's Inn location in Bon Air, which has space next door -- called Joe's Out -- for its takeout service.

But Fan District neighbors asked him to keep a market there.

"A lot of people in the neighborhood had a lot of concern about where they could get odds and ends. They said they wanted a little market," he said.

Kafantaris decided to do both.

He reopened Shields Market two weeks ago as a small grocery store as well as a place for his restaurant customers to pick up takeout orders placed through Joe's Inn. The market underwent a renovation to give it a more upscale look.

"I decided to keep the Shields name because there is a lot of history there. It has a lot of memories," he said of the market, which has been there for decades.

Shields Market also is a place to get a limited menu of prepared meals -- some made by his aunt, Stella Dikos, who operated Stella's restaurant for years until closing it in 2005.

Her rice pudding and other specialties including spanakopita, tiropita and stuffed acorn squash are available at the market. Offerings change daily.

"We thought she had gone into retirement," he said. "But she was very excited and wanted to make the food."

Besides her food, Joe's Inn is making prepared meals just for Shields Market, he said, including meat loaf and roasted chicken.

Kafantaris expects restaurant carryout orders to increase. "I know I would not like to go into a smoky bar on a Friday night to pick up takeout. Most customers say the same thing."

Beaufont Mall update

The Beaufont Mall shopping center in Chesterfield County might be getting a face-lift.

Chicago-based Bond Cos. recently bought the 43-acre center across Midlothian Turnpike from Cloverleaf Mall. The company plans to revitalize it, including the possibility of adding a grocery store and other tenants. It also plans to rename the center Spring Rock Green.

A timetable for the redevelopment isn't known. But the developer wants to take advantage of the planned redevelopment of Cloverleaf Mall with new homes, offices and stores, including a Kroger.

A road would connect Beaufont Mall with the Boulders office park to the north.

Existing retail tenants include Dollar Tree, Fore Most Sales and Popeye's Chicken. Advertising firm The Martin Agency has a call center there, and convenience-store retailer Wawa has a training center.

Last week for A&N

The end is near for A&N Stores, the Henrico County-based athletic footwear and sportswear chain that is shutting down.

The last of its 48 stores should close this week. The chain began liquidating the business Jan. 11.

A&N had 12 stores in the Richmond area when it began closing its business. It also is closing its corporate headquarters on Ferncroft Road near Richmond International Airport in Henrico.

A&N is liquidating its merchandise by selling inventory at 90 percent off regular prices.

Contact Gregory J. Gilligan at (804) 649-6379 or ggilligan@timesdispatch.com.

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