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updated: 1/20/2014 4:20 PM

Batavia considers incentives to get new downtown restaurant

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  • The Batavia City Council will decide Tuesday whether to give $25,000 and loan another $75,000 to bring an Italian restaurant to 15 E. Wilson St. The building most recently had the Rhino Room coffee and wine bar.

       The Batavia City Council will decide Tuesday whether to give $25,000 and loan another $75,000 to bring an Italian restaurant to 15 E. Wilson St. The building most recently had the Rhino Room coffee and wine bar.
    Susan Sarkauskas | Staff Photographer

 
 

Another Italian restaurant could open in downtown Batavia if the city offers economic incentives.

The Batavia City Council is expected to vote Tuesday on a request for a $25,000 grant and a $75,000 loan to bring a Gaetano's to 15 E. Wilson St.

The building has formerly housed the Rhino Room coffee and wine bar, which shut down last summer after a little over a year in business.

Table 27 Inc., the company behind Gaetano's, has estimated it will cost $220,000 to outfit the building for a full-service restaurant, according to a city memo on the project. The company says it will have to upgrade plumbing, natural gas and electrical utilities; install kitchen equipment including refrigerators, ovens, freezers and ranges; put in independent oven ventilating systems; install a restaurant-specific fire suppression system; and redecorate.

The city would charge 2.75 percent interest on the loan, and Table 27 would have five years to repay it.

Table 27 is owned by Batavia residents Gaetano and Wendy DiBenedetto. They own Gaetano's in Forest Park, which has a Zagat survey score of 27 (out of 28 possible points) on the food it serves.

If Gaetano's opens in Batavia, it would be the fifth Italian cuisine-oriented restaurant in the downtown.

The grant and loan would come from property taxes collected on downtown properties in a tax-increment financing district. TIF money is to be used to improve properties so that their value increases, generating more property taxes.

The council will first discuss the matter at a joint committees of the whole meeting at 6:30 p.m., then take a formal vote at the council meeting at 7:30 p.m. at the Batavia Government Center, 100 N. Island Ave.

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