A new lakefront restaurant/bar could open next to Sandy Beach Marina off South Main Street in Green as soon as this spring.
Jim Genovese and his wife, Zana, own the longtime Portage Lakes area marina at 3719 S. Main St. They envision spending $1 million to build the eatery on the site of the marina’s lakefront pavilion.
It’s an unusual project. Typically, restaurants in the Portage Lakes open up in existing buildings.
“I just feel there’s a need for it,” Jim Genovese said. “Places have gone out of business. Dano’s [down the street] burned down.”
He was referring to the popular Dano’s Lakeside Pub, which was gutted in a fire in June 2015.
On Cottage Grove Lake, the Genoveses envision a cozy, lakeside pub with better-than-average food.
The couple emphasized in an interview Wednesday that the project is in the early stages, and they have yet to receive the necessary approvals from the Green planning commission.
Jim Genovese said he has discussed the restaurant with residents across Main Street from the site and has not heard any objections.
The project was discussed at Wednesday’s Green City Council meeting, with council members saying they would not object to the state issuing a liquor license for the establishment.
This means that no hearing over the license will be scheduled.
Zana Genovese said the couple is hoping for an opening sometime in May. Jim Genovese acknowledged that it is an aggressive construction schedule.
He said his experience with building a house nearby should help him with the project.
The restaurant would total about 5,000 square feet; the Genoveses are hoping they will get city approval for a deck for outdoor dining.
There would be no live music, Jim Genovese said.
“We’re not looking for the place to be noisy or cause commotion,” he said, noting he lives nearby.
He hasn’t operated a restaurant before, but he has some restaurant lineage.
For years, his great uncle Ernie Genovese owned the former Art’s Place in Akron, one of the city’s most popular restaurants. It was at Waterloo Road and South Main Street, where a Sheetz gas station now stands. Ernie Genovese died in 1999; he bought Art’s Place in early 1960s, and in the early 1970s he opened a second Art’s Place in Cuyahoga Falls, also now defunct.
Jim Genovese said he and his wife, Zana, have talked about putting some of Art’s Place signature dishes — such as bean soup with cornbread — on the new eatery’s menu.
Katie Byard can be reached at 330-996-3781 or email@example.com. You can follow her @KatieByardABJ on Twitter or on Facebook at www.facebook.com.