Visions for Vacancies: Former Tuscany Italian Restaurant Lot

Will any business succeed in this spot near the intersection of Route 71 and Wolf's Crossing Road?

If you've lived in Oswego for any length of time, you'll know that the building that formerly housed has been the home of many failed restaurants. 

Tuscany packed in the customers for a time, but was gone in less than a year. Today, the building and lot sit empty waiting for the next brave entrepreneur to try something new. 

So, for this week's Visions for Vacancies, let's try something new. What would you do with that plot? Tear down the building, build anew, or totally rehab what's already there? What could survive? Tell us in comments. 

KD March 24, 2012 at 01:59 PM
Trader Joe's. I cannot imagine TJ's failing anywhere and I know so many people who would love to see one in Oswego. It's sad that villagers drive to other towns to shop at TJ's. Actually, a better place for TJ's would be to locate it near the proposed train station will be near Orchard and Mill. There would be adequate parking there whereas the old Tuscany spot might pose a problem with parking. As for that corner, I agree, it could use a "facelift" and it would help if there were stores there that seem to "go together", there are random shops there so if you are shopping in that area it is for something specific. You shop and leave. In LaGrange, there is a corner with a Trader Joes', a bookstore, coffee shop and a Pier One. It begs you to stop at more than one store once you've parked your car.
Kristen Rivers March 24, 2012 at 02:06 PM
I love the Caribou idea :) it would be a great place to stop on the way to and from soccer games, too.
Rachael B. March 24, 2012 at 02:38 PM
WHAT??? THe property is way too small for them, and the traffic access is terrible.
Steve S. March 24, 2012 at 02:49 PM
I think OHS should buy it for a training facility/weight room.
Richard R March 24, 2012 at 03:25 PM
I Have to laugh at most of the Ideas every posting has for this spot. Not one of them is a good idea for that spot. All the restaurants and coffee shops you people mention would not open there since all the others are down the road and would want to be near all of those. So the only thing to do is tear everything down on that corner, yes I know there a few businesses that are currently there and seems to have some foot traffic, but you need some one who could build and still have ample parking as to not cause a problem for that corner. So the only thing to do is wipe out everything from the corner back to that restaurant in order to attract any thing worth opening there. (Coffee shops), We have enough (Fast Food) we have enough, or even a Trader Joes is not the answer for this corner. I can't say what is needed there since I live on the west-side of town (orchard rd) that has almost nothing, But what has been mention is definitely not needed. And don't tell yes they do since it would help the tax base, and your over paying in taxes as it is. The corner area in it's current state is not a business friendly one plain and simple.
Katra Knoernschild March 24, 2012 at 04:01 PM
Richard: I disagree that we have enough restaurants, it's the type of restaurants that is the problem, along with the location/saturation of them. However, I do agree that this corner is probably one of the worst economic development areas in town when it comes to many of the ideas proposed, and contributes to the failures we have seen over the years. Of all the ideas above, I would say that the most logical would be the Hamburger/Soda shop, simply because it would be a draw for the HS base. Particularly for sporting events. In the end though, I would imagine that it would be best to convert that to a general commercial business.
Hildred Klungel March 24, 2012 at 04:12 PM
Caribou would also attract the high school crowd in a big way. And I would welcome their presence in Oswego! Unfortunately, with the location's history of failed eating establishments, even a "chain" business (food or otherwise) will likely hesitate to open up shop for many of the reasons listed above. *sigh*
Jane Enviere March 24, 2012 at 04:31 PM
That's exactly what i think, RIchard. It's a dumpy area and good luck doing anything with it in its current condition. I chuckle at how Trader Joe's is the answer for every available spot in town. Especially since the locations are usually quite unlike any other Trader Joe's spot in area communities. lol
Walt Hines March 24, 2012 at 06:12 PM
Steve have you ever seen the training/weight room at OHS. State of the art to say the least. This spot is nothing but an eye sore and has been for years. The soda shop maybe with a 50 era feeling could work. I think there will be problems with traffic no matter what goes in there. I feel for the mom and pop's out there, the economy is killing them. Paul remember the up-roar caused by McDonalds, I think that sealed the fate of that entire area. I have heard rumors that Chick-fil-A has backed out. Does anyone know the status on their arrival?
Karin McCarthy-lange March 24, 2012 at 06:36 PM
Pretty sure they are putting in a DD with Drive thru in right by Chipotle and Jersey Mike's.
Carol Anaski-Figurski March 24, 2012 at 07:03 PM
the locatin is bad. I don't know what was before tuscany. Tuscany had fantastic food. I almost fell over when I heard they did not make it. It's a shame these places take a loss. With a couple optons at hand are turn it into a recording studio for our up and coming future rockstars or lease it to the schools since they started a restraunt career program in HS. Per haps even the colleges could use it for the culinary arts programs and serve the public arena for gourmet cheap eats of any kind. How cool it that?
Jacqueline March 24, 2012 at 07:53 PM
That building is not on the corner with the liquor store, it is the nicer free standing bldg next door. Attract the kids like Dairy Hut does & it'll succeed.
SI March 24, 2012 at 09:54 PM
I think Once Upon a Childwould be excellent there.
Tina Conley March 25, 2012 at 01:08 PM
Why do you have to laugh Richard? Why not just post your own idea and leave it at that?
Matthew Lenell March 25, 2012 at 03:41 PM
With the proximity to the high school, this should be something fun. Adults want a Dunkin Donuts but I know few high school students who could benefit from coffee and donuts. If the gas station at 71 and 34 couldn't keep a DD viable what makes you think a stand-alone DD will attract kids and why would you want it to? A mom-and-pop burger/hot dog joint is something that historically works well in this type of location. It plays to what the students really want and doesn't knock them out by 3rd period like donuts will. Alternately, how about some kind of after-school recreation center? We are sorely lacking community-building meeting places for teenagers.
Carol Anaski-Figurski March 25, 2012 at 06:55 PM
Carol Anaski-Figurski March 25, 2012 at 07:00 PM
nice to see your team at scoreboards tina
Glen March 25, 2012 at 07:41 PM
What you need is something that both high school kids and adults would like. A restaurant with American style food (fast serving) with an ice cream or milkshake area as well. It will make a killing during the school year and during the summer as well when the ball fields are in use. Parking is an issue, so you might need to dedicate a turn lane when Rt. 71 goes under the knife.
Danielle Villani March 25, 2012 at 10:36 PM
Please come to Oswego Trader Joe's!
P. Covello March 26, 2012 at 03:52 AM
1) It's a terrible corner - a big mess & mish-mash of different building designs and business types - not an attractive 'gateway' to our downtown area at all. 2) Trader Joe's would be a nice addition - I travel up to Batavia to shop at that location - however, this old tired building is not appropriate - a better location would be near Meijer in the old Circuit City space , or , in the empty space between Kohls and Ulta Cosmetics. Lets be realistic. 3) Nice to see some other people mention an 'Oswego' themed buisness - specifically showcasing the Dragstrip heritage that our town has. I've often said that we're missing the boat as a community for not trying to capitalize on such an interesting part of our past. ( Dragstrip Days is great , but let's expand on that....) 4) This all being said, MAYBE a 'Drive In- Malt Shop' type business MIGHT make it there if it was done correctly. I know that if they put out good food ( CAN I PLEASE GET A DECENT CHICAGO STYLE (VIENNA) HOT DOG , PLEASE ! ) and had a cool 'dragstrip' / classic car / 60's theme, I'd support them with my hard earned $$$$.
Eileen March 31, 2012 at 02:52 PM
Anything that goes in there (if the owner refuses to tear it down) would need a huge war-chest of money to fix the building up. Then, they would need a VERY profitable business to cover a $4000.00/month rent and then expect to turn a profit after all the other expenses of doing business in this business friendly state (not). Good luck with that!
Ruth F March 31, 2012 at 07:17 PM
The rent on that building is 4G a month? Well there you go. Nothing will make it there. I was thinking 1950s era Ed Debevic type of place with a huge soda fountain .. But i mean .. if the rent is four grand, who can afford that!?
Carol Anaski-Figurski March 31, 2012 at 08:46 PM
how about an army surplus store. i still perfer a restraunt there.
Eileen April 01, 2012 at 01:44 PM
Ruth - 4,000 is a typical rent. Most rents in strip mall type places are between 3 and 4K depending on the size. Then the business owner will get assessed higher if the taxes go up, major repairs are done, or snow plowing is atypical. These high rents are the main reason why businesses can't make it. Beyond that, employees, inventory, credit card fees, utilities and state/federal taxes absorb huge amounts. Whatever is left after all this, might be the owner's salary!
gater April 01, 2012 at 03:12 PM
how about hooters
Carol Anaski-Figurski April 01, 2012 at 07:50 PM
how about a male strip club
Glen April 02, 2012 at 05:10 PM
4K a month eh? Welllllll, I agree, forget it! That's a tough go for any private venture. Either it's a chain store or nadda.
Glen April 02, 2012 at 05:13 PM
LOL. In the immortal words of Sherrif Brody in Jaws "You're gonna need a bigger Boat".
Bob Reid April 03, 2012 at 09:39 PM
First, the present owners must sell the building. We need to get it out of their hands. They have kept it in their family for some time and it has failed everytime. Nothing will succeed there until the property changes hands, out of the present family. But, they won't sell. They would rather see the building crumble before selling.
Leann October 22, 2012 at 03:18 PM
Having just recently moved to Oswego, I find that corner, as well as most of the other entrances into Oswego, to be complete eyesores. This needs to be addressed before anything can be done with the less-than-pleasing downtown. I think this community truly suffers from an identity crisis and needs to decide if it wants to be a Chicago suburb or a small, Illinois village of 30,000+ people.


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