That’s what she finds intriguing about the property, which has sat vacant for the last seven years, and the chance to make a personal and effective impact on the once vibrant city where she grew up. While she has the connection to the company her husband founded, this endeavor will be entirely undertaken on her own.
“I initially wanted the company to do something here, “Tallichet said. “But they said it was too small. That’s how I really ended up taking it up myself.”
A complete redo on the interior of the structure will begin this winter, and when complete there will be enough room for a 50-seat dining room. A sweeping deck has already been put in place — substituting an older, smaller and more rickety version — that now hugs the banks of the river and adds the capacity for at least 70 more patrons. And a sprawling crescent-shaped fire pit will be installed on a parcel along the river’s edge.
Tallichet said she wants to keep the menu simple and in line with what locals and boaters want, so she’ll stick to homemade fast food fare like burgers, sausages and hot dogs, with a wine and beer list to start.
Following the lead of others who have returned to North Tonawanda, like the East Hill Foundation run by the Greatbatch family, Tallichet said she is open to expanding on her current concept with special events and the like.
“I’ve been away, but now I feel like I’m as local as you can get,” she said.
City engineer Dale Marshall said the city is moving toward following her agenda, with work beginning in March on the marina, boater pedestals, retaining walls and dredging.
“We have a lot of work to do to get that done,” he said. “I really want that to happen by Memorial Day. That’s our goal.”
Contact reporter Michael Regan at 693-1000, ext. 4115.