Fixer-upper

Photo by Will Dendis

On Sept. 28, a fire severely damaged a building at 123 Partition Street, which housed the Partition Street Wine Shop and English Garden picture framing business as well as apartments above the two stores.

Now the building is being renovated, and the new owner, Brendan Amodio, has already begun gutting and renovating the building with an eye toward moving his restaurant into it. Amodio’s Mirabella Restaurant is now located across an alley from the building, occupying rented space. The lease runs out in a year and a half, Amodio said, and he hopes to reopen in the new building when that happens.

Amodio said he bought the building about three weeks ago, and he is already at work gutting the ground floor restaurant area and the three apartments upstairs. “I’m stripping the downstairs down to the studs.” Upstairs, the apartments will also be completely renovated with all new fixtures.

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The building is structurally sound. “That was the first thing I had checked before I bought it,” he said.

Amodio has worked in the food service business since he was 13 years old, washing dishes at the Saugerties Diner. He has since worked in a variety of restaurants, learning to handle several styles of food.

Amodio’s family moved to Saugerties from Long Island when he was 10, and he is a 2001 graduate of Saugerties High School. Like several entrepreneurs in the Saugerties business district, Amodio, 27, started in business young, opening about four years ago. He has been looking for a building to buy for several years. He wanted one that would be close enough to his current building to make it easy for regular customers to find him. “It’s great have my clientele know where I am,” he said.

In addition to the location, the building offers a good deal of additional space to allow the restaurant to expand  The building, including the apartments, encompasses 9,000 square feet, while the store area offers 5,000 square feet for a restaurant, sports bar and catering, compared to about 2,000 square feet in the current restaurant.

Amodio said he is aware of the fact that several young entrepreneurs have opened businesses in Saugerties. He is in close contact with them, he added, and he believes business owners in Saugerties have to work together to develop the town’s image and build up its business center. “That’s what will make Saugerties a successful town, a destination spot.”  The youthful business owners are “a motivated group,” Amodio said.

Amodio’s involvement with the town goes beyond his role as a business person, he said. He helps to financially support five softball teams, four bowling teams, a basketball league, a football team and a hockey team. He plays softball and bowls with a league. Amodio said he has also supported a number of fund raisers for the town.

Amodio will be working with the village’s Historical Review Board to assure that his businesses and building fit in with the village’s historic designation.

Both businesses that were located in the Partition Street building have found nearby accommodation since being uprooted by the fire. English Garden is next door to its former location, and the wine shop is just across Partition Street.

 

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