For five years, Hurricanes bar was an established and popular nightlife attraction among Oswego State students. Opening in 2010, the bar and dance club was located on Water St. across from WaterStreet Café and Old City Hall. This summer, in mid-May, Hurricanes unexpectedly closed.
Now, Chip Tesoriero, the owner of the former Hurricanes Bar, has moved his business just next door in what used to be Club Crystal. Club Crystal closed in 2011 the New York State Liquor Authority revoked its liquor license due to numerous liquor violations.
Tesoriero opened what is now The Ferris Wheel and the current Hurricanes club on July 23, the Thursday of Harborfest. Ferris Wheel is located on the lower level, while Hurricanes is upstairs.
“We were waiting on our health department inspection, building inspection, but it all came together late, late Wednesday afternoon and we were able to open Thursday,” Tesoriero said. “It was an interesting battle, journey, whatever you want to call it.”
According to Tesoriero, what made the battle so interesting was Tesoriero’s relationship with the landlord of the former Hurricanes establishment, John Constanza. Constanza increased his monthly rent from $2,250 to $3,500 in the final month of Tesoriero’s lease, according to Tesoriero.
Despite Tesoriero still paying the rent, Constanza did not renew his lease, according to Tesoriero. Upon being evicted, Tesoriero was forced to relocate his business.
“The place was a mess, [Constanza] wouldn’t put anything into it. I’m not an engineer and I don’t want to pretend to be, but as far as maintenance is concerned, if I didn’t fix it, it wouldn’t get fixed,” Tesoriero said. “He clearly wanted to take over my business, for free. I got crazy lines out the door over there, and now all of a sudden he doesn’t renew my lease, he wants crazy money.”
Constanza was the owner of Toucans Tropical Bar before it closed and Hurricanes moved into the premises. The current Wi-Fi connection for the premises, now that Hurricanes is no longer established there, is called “2CANS,” which makes Tesoriero question what Constanza plans to do with the vacant location.
“Since May, Constanza hasn’t collected any rent over there,” Tesoriero said. “When a guy pays his rent on time, there’s got to be another ulterior motive.”
According to the New York State Liquor Authority, the liquor license for Toucans LLC expired in March 2010 and is currently inactive.
At this time, Constanza could not be reached for further comment regarding the closing of Toucans or Hurricanes, nor any further plans he may have for the premises.
Despite the hurdles, Tesoriero is happy with the transition.
“We have a lot more capacity, a lot more square footage, a much more friendly facility, a much better conditioned facility, electrical, structure, everything,” Tesoriero said.
Tesoriero said he would like to open a kitchen in the lower level within a year. He also thinks that the name offers a good amount of nostalgia for Oswego locals, and Tesoriero himself, as the premises was called Ferris Wheel many years ago.
“The name The Ferris Wheel has really brought a smile to a lot of middle-aged people,” Tesoriero said. “I met my wife there, we kissed there, I used to play guitar there in my 20s.”