July 10, 2012
Asian restaurant, gelato shop opening up
Historic Review Board approves plans for downtown eateries on Main Street
Bob Ellis/staff photographer
The Wild Ginger Asian Cuisine Restaurant will be opening in the former Nordic Sports and real wood furniture store building at 47-49 Main St. The restaurant plans to serve Japanese, Thai and Chinese cuisine.
Downtown Cortland has two new eateries coming to Main Street in the next few months — an Asian restaurant and gelato shop.
Owners from both businesses discussed their design plans at the city’s Historic Review Board meeting Monday.
Wen-Jun Ren of Binghamton is planning to open Wild Ginger Asian Fusion, an asian-style restauraunt at 47-49 Main St. The restaurant will be in the former Real Wood Furniture Store.
She said she hoped to open before the SUNY Cortland students arrive in the fall. The restaurant will feature cuisine that mixes Japanese, Chinese and Thai influences. There are other Wild Ginger restaurants in the state.
Ren said she wanted to open a restaurant on Main Street because it does not have an asian-themed restaurant and could be popular with college students and local residents looking to try something different.
Members of the historic board unanimously approved the facade design for the restaurant, which will use the same color scheme as the existing Real Wood Furniture Store sign on the building. The owner will also have to add a fire-rated door to the back of the building and paint it to match the exterior of the building.
County Legislator Danny Ross (R-Cortlandville) and his wife, Pamela, also appeared at the meeting to discuss their plans for a gelato shop, called I Need a Gelato. The shop will be on the corner of Main Street and Groton Avenue at 2 Main St.
The couple said they hope to open as the New York Jets arrive for training camp July 26. They will offer 18 different flavors of Gelato, which is an Italian-style ice cream.
Gelato is churned at a slower speed and is creamier than regular ice cream.
When asked why she wanted to start the gelato shop, Pamela Ross said, “It’s not a tattoo shop, it’s not a bar, it’s not pizza.”
Danny Ross said he has visited other cities that have successful gelato shops and believes it could do very well on Main Street.
They discussed outdoor seating and the painting of the facade Monday with the historic board but will have to come back next month for a review of the sign for the building.
Adam Megivern, executive director of the Cortland Downtown Partnership, said the Asian cuisine and gelato shop will be welcome additions downtown, where restaurants have been doing very well.
He said having more occupied storefronts will make all downtown business stronger.
Megivern said more and more people are looking to Cortland as a destination for entertainment.
Megivern said he hopes to see Main Street continue to attract new retail, restaurants and other businesses.
“There’s definitely room for even more diversity of cuisine downtown,” Megivern said.
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