WATERTOWN – Christin D. Filippelli wants people to feel right at home when they eat at his new Court Street restaurant.
She and her business partner Jessica R. Williams are renovating the building that once housed Severance Photo at 168 Court Street to open The Eatery.
She hopes people will feel The Eatery is a home from home for families and friends.
âI don’t want to be clichÃ© and say like ‘Cheers’,â Ms. Filippelli said, referring to the lyrics for the 1990s sitcom’s theme song that âsometimes you want to go where everyone knows your name. “
Construction has already started on the vacant building owned by local businessman Stephen J. Bradley.
When it opens, The Eatery will offer “a wide range of choices” including breakfast, lunch and dinner with teas, coffees, smoothies and desserts baked on site.
âI would describe our food as food that you would prepare for yourself and your family if you had the time and enjoyed cooking,â she said.
Customers can join a coffee club that includes a daily cup of coffee in a reusable mug for $ 125 for the year.
A customer can also choose a meal of the week, with all sales going to the guest’s favorite charity. The storefront windows will display free advertising for nonprofits for one month at a time, she said.
The two women also operate the Battlefield Eatery in Sackets Harbor. Ms. Filippelli owns 90% of The Eatery and her partner the remaining 10%. In the same kind of arrangement, Ms. Williams owns 90% of the Sackets restaurant and Ms. Fillippelli 10%.
Ground Up Construction, Watertown, is the general contractor for the project.
Plans also include the expansion into the former Smith Restaurant supply building next door at 170 Court Street as part of a second phase. This cavernous space will feature a stage for live music, comics, karaoke, poetry readings, one-man shows and other performances.
“I want the space to be versatile, to house poetry readings but also community dinners,” she said.
Mr. Bradley had originally planned to use a $ 990,000 Restore NY state grant to help fund renovations to an event facility.
Michael A. Lumbis, the city’s director of planning and community development, said the Restore NY grant will be used to prepare the space for further development when the second phase of Ms. Filippelli’s plans is completed.
His plans do not include the renovation of eight apartments on the top floor that Mr Bradley planned to complete.
Mr. Bradley could not be reached for comment.
The Eatery will be the fifth restaurant to open in the city in recent months. It will join a Public Square restaurant and bar, an expanded juice bar that has moved to Newell Street and a Filipino-flavored establishment on Bradley Street. The Sboro family, with a rich history in the local food industry, have relaunched a Coffeen Street restaurant that closed at the start of the pandemic.
And soon, partners Michael Pierce and Kenneth Bodah plan to make an announcement about their plans to redevelop Wind and Wire’s deteriorated building, 75 Public Square, into a downtown restaurant.