NORFOLK -- Part of Granby Street gets a temporary makeover Friday and Saturday, but a lot of people are looking for "temporary" to evolve into something more.
"My daughter says I'm glowing the last couple of weeks, and I'm not pregnant," said Mary Jo Wilfong, laughing.
She and business partner Ben Mills will open Mary Cup of Joe at 763 Granby Street, running the coffee and pastry shop for less than 24 hours.
They are part of The Better Block Project, which is meant to show people how a neglected or underutilized area can make a turnaround in a relatively short amount of time, essentially, showcasing that area's potential.
Vacant buildings on Granby Street between Olney Road and Addison Street will come alive with pop-up businesses like Wilfong's as well as the work of artists and performers.
"Our hope is to go permanent, you know, find some funding somewhere," explained Wilfong who will use the kitchen at Yorgo's Bageldashery on Colonial Avenue to bake the pies and cakes she'll set at the pop-up location.
"So many people have helped us along the way to get to this point," Wilfong told 13News. "I think it's exciting that Norfolk is doing something like this, revitalizing an area that's been dead for so long."
Artist Amanda Stephens also is enthusiastic about the makeover. She said that in 1998, she and her father had the last show in the building that used to house the Old Dominion University Art Gallery.
Friday and Saturday, she will display some of her own pieces and pay tribute to the works of other local artists by projecting images of those works onto the old Zedd's building.
"It's about transformation," said Stephens, reaching for old bottle caps used in one of her works. "It's about taking something that's like these pieces that are forgotten, and ran over, and totally, like, just destroyed to a level, and bringing life back into it."
People can enjoy the transformation Friday from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. and Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Team Better Block, which is based in Texas and worked with hundreds of volunteers in the makeover, will create plans for Better Block events at Five Points and on 35th Street.