Tonawanda News — KENMORE — The block of storefronts on Delaware Avenue between Lincoln Boulevard and Mang Avenue is receiving a long-overdue facelift, and the Village of Kenmore moves into the future by acknowledging its past.
Nick Sinatra of the Town of Tonawanda’s Sinatra & Company Real Estate, who grew up on Knowlton Avenue in the village and has returned after some remarkable experiences and some funny stories, is making sure of that.
The long, low building, constructed in 1930 and housing stores in the 2700 block of Delaware, the heart of Kenmore’s business district, was purchased by Sinatra’s firm earlier this year.
“It took me two years to negotiate (with the previous owner),” Sinatra said. “He threw me out of his office twice. When we finally got the property, we wanted to learn how to restore it to its original look.”
So staff member Andrew Sheldon was dispatched to the archives of the Tonawanda-Kenmore Historical Society, and returned with photographs galore of what the sturdy little block of Kenmore looked like through the years.
“We decided to restore it to its original brick, and make it a little more colorful,” Sinatra said. “Last year at the (retailer’s) sidewalk sale, we showed two renderings, and everybody like the combination of colored concrete and old brick,” and thus does each storefront now have its own identity, expressed in color, while the surrounding details are a nod to the village’s past.
“It took time, and a lot of masonry, but it highlights the artistry of the building,” he said, pointing out the decorative diamond pattern across the facades “reborn as the centerpiece.”
With the exterior renovation comes something of a game of retail musical chairs. The durable and flagship Mike’s Subs, a fixture since 1956, will expand into space now the longtime home of Elliott Travel Agency, and add a dining area. The travel agency will move a few storefronts up the street. One currently vacant space will become Village Square Events and Catering, featuring a banquet hall and entertainment space for 175 people and operated by Sinatra’s family (they of Sinatra’s Restaurant on Kenmore Avenue). All other businesses will remain in place.