One of the first restaurants to open at The Banks has closed. Banks spokeswoman Libby Korosec says Toby Keith's I Love This Bar and Grill closed because the tenant defaulted under its lease.
This isn't the first time Toby Keith's has been in financial trouble. An affiliate of The Banks developer sued the restaurant's owners in February 2013 alleging Toby Keith's hadn't paid rent since November 2012. That case was eventually settled. Earlier this year, Syracuse Media Group and other news outlets reported similar financial problems at other Toby Keith's locations across the country.
Nicol Investment Company spokesperson Laura Griffin says there's a fair amount of interest in the space on Second Street.
“We will see over the next couple of weeks how that all develops, but it will likely be an entertainment oriented concept that will be a great addition and activator for the project,” she says. “It’s unfortunate. Every now and then you do have these situations where you have to re-tenant a space. But it also creates an opportunity. And that is to get the right tenant in there. We’re working through and vetting various concepts.”
Griffin says a grocery store is still a possibility. She says retail opportunities at The Banks are very different than when it opened.
“The size of the space is about 16,000 square feet so the type of grocer that would be interested in that size is sort of a more specialty type grocer or a more urban-format for more of the larger ones.”
Laura Griffin says there's a fair amount of interest in the location. She adds a decision won't be quick because Nichol want to find the right tenant for the location.
Griffin says it's also possible the space could be divided for multiple businesses.