VICTOR — The owner of two popular Rochester restaurants will soon breathe new life into the now-defunct TGI Friday’s on Route 96 in Victor. And plans are to add a 2,000-square-foot patio to bring a southern Florida feel to upstate New York.
Webster resident Mike Tascione, owner of Hooligan’s Eastside Grill and City Grill in Rochester, was joined Tuesday by Alan Russell, the future director of operations at the new restaurant — City Tavern.
At a Victor Town Planning Board meeting the two laid out plans to resurrect the former TGI Friday’s at 7635 Route 96, near Victor Crossing shopping center. A key element in their casual upscale dining venue, they said, will be a 20-by-112-foot partially covered patio with plush furniture and fire pits on the east side of the building, facing Route 96. “There’s nothing like it in all of Rochester,” said Russell. “Everybody envies our patio downtown, and this patio is going to be better than that. It’s like your living room.” City Tavern, which is not a franchise operation, will be affordable to all walks of life, Russell said. “People will be able to get a pizza and a $20 bottle of wine, or get a $50 steak and a $200 bottle of wine,” he said.
Dave Cox of engineering firm Passero Associates said Tascione and Russell plan to rehab the existing structure and “dress it up.” Inside, patrons will see a lot of stone and brick, along with another fire pit. A pizza oven will anchor the middle of the restaurant, from behind the bar. Planning Board Vice Chair Joe Logan applauded the architectural elements brought in by the new owners. “With the sloped roof and stone, you guys did a nice job,” said Logan. “It’s a nice improvement to the building, and a good use of the property.” Planning Board member Al Galina was pleased the existing building will be upgraded and put to good use, rather than left empty. “About 50 percent of our clientele lives out this way,” said Russell. “They’re super excited for us to move out here so they can have city dining during the week.” Tascione is shooting for a mid-August opening, he said.