Willy Street Co-op-East
1221 Williamson St.
The long near-east-side nightmare is over; the remodeling of the co-op that began last November is finally done. (A low point might have been the "Port-A-Potties in the parking lot" days this spring.)
Up front, the formerly drab eat-in space, bathrooms and kids' play area have received a much-needed makeover, with light wood IKEA-style tables and chairs, dark wood flooring and a somewhat better layout. The juice bar has moved way up front, and now juice blends are all create-your-own. There's also a grab-and-go cooler near the front with sushi, sandwiches, salads, juices and desserts.
The new cheese counter, where the juice and coffee bar used to be, now allows for sampling. East now has a dedicated butcher/meat counter as well as one for seafood. The deli counter is smaller than before reconstruction, but more prepackaged deli items and a self-serve hot bar have been added. The kitchen prep area is now more open to the deli, and a pizza oven is stoked to quick-cook goodies on the spot. Still, the number of hot-bar offerings is somewhat less than at the more expansive Middleton location.
Open: Curry in the Box-Madison West
3519 University Ave., 608-238-1900.
A second location for the Fitchburg Thai and Indian curry shop.