The restaurant next to Dave's Diner at Common Grounds will be reopening its doors this summer, but under new management and with a familiar name.
"The fact that it's sitting there closed is not good for the community," Cazenovia College President Mark Tierno said.
Nirchi's Italian Grill closed last winter, but the space on Albany Street will be reopening under management of Cazenovia College under the restaurant's original name, Cazenovia Grill.
The restaurant will feature an Adirondack, upstate theme in both style and menu, Tierno said. It will also reflect historic Cazenovia.
"The more economic activity we can create, the better. The more people we can bring to town, the better for everyone. It'll help all businesses, including other restaurants," Tierno said.
The restaurant will be open for lunch and dinner, 52 weeks a year.
"It is a restaurant in which the entire community and visitors and guests are invited. It's not just a college restaurant," said Wayne Westervelt, Cazenovia College Director of Communications.
While students will be able to use their meal plan cards to purchase meals, the new venture will be aimed at the community.
"Its primary goal is to be an appealing place for the general public," Tierno said.
The new restaurant will be hiring several full-time employees, including shift supervisors, waitstaff, prep cooks and line cooks.
Tierno said that the restaurant will be advantageous to the community in many ways, including bringing more sales taxes to the municipal tax base.
"If people want a certain kind of meal and they can't get that particular kind of meal here, they may take their sales taxes across the county line and we lose them," he said. "We need to be concerned, as a community, with finding ways to grow the tax base."
The college is renting the space from Bob Hood.
"By renting the space, we keep it on the tax roll," Tierno said.
Tierno believes the restaurant will be popular and attract more people to the area.
"The health of the community is very important to me as a resident and even more important to me as president of the college," he said.