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Planning Board receives updates on wine bar, Steelhead

by jmaloni
Sat, Mar 17th 2012 07:00 am
Emery Simon is renovating 755 Center St., and converting it into an upscale wine bar.
Emery Simon is renovating 755 Center St., and converting it into an upscale wine bar.
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Town Hall restaurant to offer new look, contemporary American cuisine

Story and photos by Joshua Maloni

The Village of Lewiston Planning Board was updated Monday on two prominent Center Street projects.

The First and Last Chance Saloon

Emery Simon, who is converting 755 Center St. North into an upscale wine bar, informed the Planning Board of his intent to bolster the property.

He told members the building is in worse shape than he expected.

"Everything's rotten," Simon said. "We're literally replacing everything."

To remedy this situation, the Simon Construction Co. head said he is "over-building." In other words, he's replacing 4-by-4s with 6-by-6s (for example), and using custom-made steel brackets.

"Some changes we're making are to make it safer," Simon said.

Though these extra modifications will cost him additional money, Simon said, "I want to make the building right."

The Planning Board was pleased with Simon's efforts.

"It's going to be a better building," member Dave Maslen said.

Bates Cooke first rebuilt the structure in 1820. The establishment was then known as "The First and Last Chance Saloon." Simon's wine bar will be called "The Lewiston Stone House." He said it would offer wine tastings, a light menu and perhaps some sommelier-led wine classes.

"We don't want it to be a bar ... we want it to be an experience," Simon said.

Planning Board member Jamie Symmonds said, "I'm very excited. It'll look good."

Simon doesn't have a timetable for the wine bar's opening, but said, "We're pushing."

In the meantime, his manager of new business development, Christina Crane, has created a Facebook page for the community to watch the wine bar's renovation. Click here to access that site.

"It's a community project, and I want the community to be involved," Simon said.

The Former Steelhead

Tom and Carey McCormick, the new proprietors of 453 Center St. (formerly known as The Steelhead), are completely remodeling the restaurant. The new interior design will be different to the point that patrons won't recognize the eatery when it reopens in May, he said.

The Town Hall restaurant, as they're calling it, will feature contemporary American cuisine served in a friendly environment.

"We want it to be the ultimate neighborhood spot," Tom McCormick said.

"We're all about community and gathering," Carey McCormick added.

The husband and wife duo are known for their work at the Niagara Frontier Country Club. He was chef while she was assistant manager.

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