Some bar managers plan to take advantage of the pending demolition of Chuck’s and the Orange Crate Brewing Co.
Daily Orange File Photo
Some bar managers in the Marshall Street area are making plans to attract more customers to their businesses with the pending demolition of Hungry Chuck’s and the Orange Crate Brewing Company.
Hill bar managers also have different ideas of how the demolition could impact the overall bar scene in Syracuse, saying some Chuck’s and Orange Crate regulars may go to different “watering holes” near campus, while others might head downtown to explore bars in the Armory Square area.
Chuck’s and the Orange Crate — which is known among students as Lucy’s — are part of a string of businesses facing demolition, after the city approved a proposal from real estate developer BLVD Equities to construct a “multi-use” building at 721-23 and 727 South Crouse Avenue.
BLVD Equities listed March 1 as the “approximate” start date for construction at the properties, according to paperwork filed with the city. But neither Chuck’s nor Orange Crate have announced official closing dates.
Marc Lipsy, the current bar manager of Faegan’s Cafe & Pub — which has been operating for nearly 40 years on the Hill — said his bar will look to take advantage of the demolition and might offer a new late night menu in the future, similar to what Chuck’s currently has.
Drew Paisley, a manager and bartender at Harry’s Bar — which has been operating for nearly 30 years at the intersection of South Crouse Avenue and East Adams Street — said while his bar won’t be making any changes like Faegan’s, Harry’s is planning to fill the “party scene” niche on the Hill that could soon be left unoccupied.
Anthony Caporizzo the general manager of DJ’s on the Hill, meanwhile, said his bar at 161 Marshall St. will “just keep going … as usual.”
“We’re basically just going to keep providing the bar that we’ve been providing,” he said. DJ’s on the Hill has been operating for about seven years.
David Heymann, the general manager of the Sheraton Syracuse University Hotel and Conference Center, said Sitrus on the Hill — the hotel’s bar — has an older demographic of clientele compared to the regulars at Chuck’s and Orange Crate.
“We’re not really a student drinking facility,” said Heymann, who’s been general manager at the Sheraton for 18 years. “So in some regards … (the demolition) doesn’t affect the company in any way.”
While Lipsy said bars on the Hill — including Faegan’s, which is located at 734 S. Crouse Ave. — will see an initial increase in student customers after the demolition, he said he also believes many former Chuck’s and Lucy’s regulars will head downtown to the Armory Square area for drinking. Lipsy said he thinks it’s safer for students to go to bars on the Hill, however.
Paisley said he also expects an influx of students at the Hill’s remaining bars following the demolition. He added that while he thinks some students may travel downtown to look for bars, most students will remain on the Hill because of a lack of ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft in Syracuse.
The New York state Senate recently passed a bill legalizing and regulating ride-hailing services in upstate New York. The New York state Assembly has to pass a bill similar to the Senate’s to keep the possibility open for the services to be fully legalized statewide.
Nick Falcone, a co-owner of Benjamin’s on Franklin in downtown Syracuse said there is “no telling how (the demolition) is going to affect downtown,” and that his bar has no plans to take advantage of the demolition of the two bars on the Hill.
Managers from multiple other bars in the Armory Square area, including The Blue Tusk and Daisy Dukes, were unavailable for comment on this story. David Hoyne, the owner of Kitty Hoynes on West Fayette Street, declined to comment, saying he doesn’t know enough about the planned demolition at South Crouse Avenue.
Some SU students, however, agree with Lipsy and Paisley, saying many Chuck’s and Orange Crate regulars will begin to more frequently head downtown for drinks.
Jess Dilling, a senior political science major, said she thinks students will explore the downtown area more following the demolition, or gravitate to DJ’s or Harry’s. Dilling, who frequently goes out to Chuck’s, said after the demolition she plans to spend the rest of her senior year going out to DJ’s.
Dilling also said she thinks Faegan’s could see an increase in students for their midweek nights, but doubts the pub will become “a Saturday type of bar.”
Timmy Kerrigan, a junior psychology major, recently signed a change.org petition that was started last week called “SAVE CHUCKS.”
“HOW DARE THEY TRY TO TAKE MY SENIOR RIGHTS,” wrote Kerrigan on the website, as the reason why he had signed the petition.
Kerrigan said he’s upset he’ll be losing what he calls “a rite of passage for seniors” with Chuck’s being demolished, but also said he sees potential positive effects resulting from the demolition. He said students taking taxis downtown more to visit bars and restaurants is a good thing.
“It’ll be cool to go downtown and see what kind of food is down there for, like, drunk eating and all that stuff,” Kerrigan said.
Despite the possible shift to downtown drinking from some students, Lipsy, the manager of Faegan’s, said his store isn’t going anywhere.
“We’re just excited to possibly gain some new clientele and do some new things on the Hill,” Lipsy said.
Published on February 26, 2017 at 10:05 pm