Construction is under way at the former Woodshed Tavern after new owners faced months of delays closing on the property. After failing to open before July’s Harborfest, as was expected, The Shed is set to open on Oct. 1, said the owners.
According to tax and property records, ownership transferred from Diane Broadwell to The Shed, LLC on July 12 for $289,265. Tax records show the property was assessed at $205,000 in 2011.
Since closing on the property, business partners Scott Grants and Sarah Tracy have begun preparing for the establishment’s reopening.
State corporation records show Grants and Tracy filed an application on June 16 to form a limited liability company known as The Shed, dropping the “Wood” from the tavern’s name.
The building sat vacant for almost two years, save for a stream of potential buyers touring the property.
Despite the changes being made to the 39-year-old building, Grants said he and Tracy wanted to keep the essence of the establishment while improving the quality of the experience.
“No matter what business you’re in, the patrons are your business and I think that’s been completely lost in Oswego,” Grants said.
Now, the sound of running power tools can be heard from the street. Grants and several friends have done nearly all the remodeling work themselves.
They have also spent 15 hours each day working virtually every day for the last three weeks on the building, they said.
“I’m dead… but we’re getting it done,” Grants said.
“There’s just not enough time in the day to get everything done,” Tracy, a 2011 graduate of Oswego State, said.
When it opens its doors, the reincarnation of The Woodshed that greets customers will be markedly different from the establishment that for years was so popular among Oswego State students.
It’s hard to keep up with Grants as he circles the room, hopping over construction materials, and points out each change and addition. The elevated seating that once skirted the bar has been removed. The formerly sticky floors are being replaced with hardwood. The old stage for bands has been torn down and replaced with a new stage and disc jockey pit. Fresh paint and Sheetrock, it seems, is going up everywhere.
Outside, the building has been treated to a new paint job and the shrubbery that edged the building is gone. The bathrooms are being updated, as is the kitchen. A new, late-night walk-up window is also being framed in near the kitchen.
Perhaps the biggest departure from the old establishment has been the conversion of a back room of the bar into a private V.I.P. room. For about $250 a night, a group of up to 48 people will be able to enjoy a private room with its own bottle service and wait staff, Grants said.
“We want to create something that is Manhattan night club at night, but a great eatery during the day,” Grants said.
Doing so will take a superb staff, he said. Grants and Tracy received more than 140 resumes from people seeking employment. About half were for wait staff positions and half for bartending jobs. After dozens of interviews and callbacks, Grants has hired eight wait staff and eight bartenders, most of which are Oswego State students. Grants is also in the process of hiring a local chef to run the kitchen.
With so much to oversee, Grants said he and Tracy are focusing all their attention on finishing construction and opening their doors to the public.
“We just want this to be a destination night spot for college students again,” Grants said.