Jan 15, 2014 Jason Emerson Uncategorized
A local restaurant owner and local building owner last week pitched their proposal to the village board to build either an addition onto or a freestanding structure next to the current building at 4 Chenango St. for the purpose of moving the Cazenovia restaurant Circa to the new location. The move would allow Circa owner Alicyn Hart to provide her customers with a bigger restaurant space, outdoor seating with a river view and more parking.
“I’d be very interested in moving down to that area,” Hart told the board at its Jan. 6 regular monthly meeting.
“It would be a great place for a restaurant,” said Leanne Burrell, who, along with her husband Eric, owns the Chenango Street property.
Circa, which uses local meats, cheeses and produce and offers a seasonal menu that reflects a variety of cooking styles from around the world, has been located at 76 Albany St. for the past eight years. In 2013, however, Hart, who leases the 1,200-square-foot space, and her landlord could not agree on a new lease agreement so she will move her restaurant to another location by May 31 of this year.
Hart said she has had “numerous offers” from building owners around the village of Cazenovia to move her restaurant to their locations, but “working with Eric and Leanne seems like a good fit.”
Leanne Burrell told the board the idea is to build a two-level, 2,500 square-foot addition to the back of the building at 4 Chenango St., which currently houses business offices, or to build a two-story, 2,500 square-foot freestanding building at the back of the parking lot. The first story would house Circa and the second story would be used as office space, Burrell said.
Hart said no matter where she moves her restaurant location, she does not plan to enlarge or change her business plan in any way, but she likes the idea of better parking, outdoor seating and a larger interior. “My intentions really are to just stay in business in the village and be able to offer my customers more than I have been able to at 76 Albany St.,” she said.
Mayor Kurt Wheeler said the area at 4 Chenango St. is now zoned as an R-10 Residential District and said a zone change for the area would be necessary to allow a restaurant. He said a planned development (PD) zone seems like the most logical change to make.
Village Attorney Jim Stokes asked Burrell and Hart if they had spoken to the neighbors about the proposed project and received any support or opposition. Burrell said no one she has spoken to has opposed the idea; Hart said the neighbors have been “extremely supportive” of the use of the “underutilized” space there.
Wheeler said the next step for Burrell and Hart would be to create an approximate site plan and building vision to present to the board at its February meeting. The village board would have to consider and approve a zone change for the area and then the project would be referred to the village planning board for site plan review.
“It’s exciting to hear about people keeping businesses in Cazenovia,” Wheeler said. “We wish you well.”
After the meeting, Burrell and Hart were optimistic about their proposed plan. “We think our chances are good,” Burrell said.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican and Eagle Bulletin newspapers.