35 and 43 E. Church Street: New Mexican Restaurant to Move In
The backside of Darbar Indian Restaurant will be the home of a new Mexican restaurant called La Pinata, according to Kyger. The owners have already opened the restaurant in West Chester and Cincinnati. Because the restaurant will be over 4,000 ft., the restaurant will qualify for an additional liquor license from the state of Ohio.
325 S. College Ave.: Stewart Square to Get Steakhouse and Wine Bar
Mike Patterson, owner of Patterson's Café and part owner of Paesano's Pasta House, is moving forward with a steakhouse and wine shop. He hopes to open Michael's Steakhouse and Wine Bar by August. Patterson is currently securing financing, but hopes to be finished by January so that he can begin construction. He plans to put the business in the previous site of Dubois Bookstore in Stewart Square, according to Kyger. The restaurant will have a small area where patrons can purchase wine to take out of the store or to take back to their table at the steakhouse. It will also offer a wine bar. According to Kyger, Patterson's new venture is aimed at targeting the more mature Oxford clientele.
"Moms and dads are a huge part of the Oxford economy," Kyger said. "[For example], between Thanksgiving and Christmas, [parents] aren't making the trip up here. Oxford feels it."
15 S. Beech: Oxford Press Building Being Developed
The Oxford Press moved out of their building on South Beech Street and moved into an office space above LCNB Bank last week. Stewart Square Developers has purchased the one story building and plans to tear it down and build a new building with additional floors for residences, according to Kyger. The building was owned by Cox Publishing, the company in charge of The Oxford Press, The Hamilton Journal-News and the Dayton Daily News, among other publications. Cox has recently downsized many of its regional offices.
"When these were individual papers, they all had printing presses on site," Kyger said. "Their new model involves consolidated printing, so Cox Publishing had all these older buildings in old downtown areas and they didn't need all that space anymore. They needed far less space than a big building that does printing and shipping and deliveries. So they're selling all their big brick-and-mortar facilities and moving into smaller ones to cut down on their overhead."
Kyger also indicated that the Oxford Press might move back into their former building after the construction, which is scheduled to be finished in August.
"It wouldn't surprise me to see the Oxford Press move back into the old site, but only in a small part," Kyger said.
15 N. Poplar: Wood's Neighbor Finally Gets Facelift
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Years ago, the now vacant storefront next to The Wood's Food and Spirits was a pizza joint called Tony's Pizza. The owners ran the shop on the first floor and lived on the floor above it. Then it became a department store called Lazarus, which merged with the Macy's shopping conglomerate. Macy's remained until about five years ago. The business left town, and the store sat vacant while Macy's paid out the lease. The lease expired about a year ago, which prompted the development of The Wood's, as half of that building was also leased by Macy's. Now, the original owners of Tony's Pizza are planning to remodel the building, and once again make it available to the Oxford community, according to Oxford Economic Director Alan Kyger. Kyger has no indication of what commercial business will occupy the new space, but in accordance with Oxford's uptown mixed-use building policy, the second floor will likely available for residential purposes.