A block that has already had its fair share of storefront changes will be seeing yet another, when Chocolat Maya sets up shop at 47 High St. this December.
Robert Klinger, who owns S’wings Restaurant and The Little Salad Shop next door at 45 High St., is trying his hand at a new venture, Chocolat Maya, a chocolate and wine bar. He plans to move into the empty storefront next to The Little Salad Shop — the space previously occupied by another chocolatier and café, Chocopologie. Klinger was unavailable to comment on his new venture.
Klinger, who has occupied the neighboring storefront since 2009, plans to sell French pastries and other chocolate-themed offerings in the new space. His inspiration for the chocolatier stems from his Parisian friend Maya, who introduced Klinger to various European desserts and suggested he create a chocolate and wine bar in the Elm City, according to his son Sebastien.
Chocolat Maya will offer a wide selection of chocolate bars, truffles, bon-bons, and other chocolate-dipped delicacies, in addition to a plethora of wine choices. Klinger’s son said the chocolatier will hope to capture a 1920’s theme and feature circular tables, black leather chairs, and sofas to present a lounge-style seating area for customers.
According to current Little Salad Shop employee Shanequa Williams, Klinger envisions the chocolate shop will complement its next-door neighbor, offering a place for Little Salad Shop customers to sit after ordering their salads.
Chocolat Maya will replace Chocopologie, a café that served hot beverages and hand-crafted chocolates and pastries, after the former failed to attract adequate foot traffic.
Cristobelle Ormiston ’16, a Chocopologie aficionado who praised the business’s hot chocolate, said she believes the store ultimately proved unsuccessful because of timing and publicity. She thought that not enough Yale students knew about the café, adding that other local businesses, such as FroyoWorld, overpowered Chocopologie — which only appealed to students during the winter and could not match its competitors on High Street during other seasons.
Nicholas Taki ’16, a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon who frequents the fraternity’s house on High Street near Chocopologie, said that the new store’s revenue will very much depend on the price point. Nearby Ibiza, a high-end Spanish restaurant, has a wide selection of good wines but is much more formal and expensive, Taki said.
Still, he added, if the new spot’s ’20s theme is executed well, it could become “date spot central.”
“If it’s targeting a price point that is affordable to students, while offering a cool fresh atmosphere, it will be profitable,” Taki said. “It’s not a frat spot, but it’s going to appeal to the Yale student body as a whole.”
Five businesses have operated next door to Chocolat Maya’s future space in the past decade.