It’s been just over two years since the idea of a restaurant at Blue Cross Arena at the War Memorial was first mentioned and on Friday the City of Rochester took the next step by issuing a request for expression of interest (REOI) for a restaurant operator.
This could be an excellent addition to the building not only for before and after events but for downtown in general. It is a great location along the river that has been underutilized by the city especially during the warmer months.
Highlights from the REOI that was released (scroll down to read the full document):
- The City is currently engaged with an architectural design firm to advance conceptual designs for the integration of an approximately 10,000 SF restaurant space as part of the Arena complex. The restaurant space will be newly constructed and will take advantage of existing commercial support spaces, such as loading docks, that exist on-site.
- The Restaurant is expected to be open and able to accommodate guests on both days where events are occurring on-site as well as non-event nights.
- The newly developed restaurant space would be located on the first floor of the Arena facing the Genesee River and the public War Memorial Terrace along the riverfront.
- Those expressing interest will be expected to do so by July 31, 2020 with the selection of respondents to advance to the request for proposals (RFP) phase in September 2020.
A time frame has not been posted yet as to when the restaurant would be expected to be completed and opened.
Who has the capacity in this current climate to open a new restaurant like this? A local brewery? Hopefully not a chain. Could it be a (585) Food and Sport similar to (716) Food and Sport attached to the Harborcenter in Buffalo? Questions to be answered as the work on the building progresses.
This project is in addition to work already underway to expand the building along Exchange Blvd along with bathroom and audio/visual upgrades inside of the building.
View the rest of the REOI document below:BCA Restaurant Operator_Final EOI 6-24-2020
It’s been a long time since work has been proposed for the building and now being put into action. Below is a link to the full time line of projects announced to where we’re at now.