Citronelle, Syracuse’s newest large-scale restaurant and banquet facility, has begun construction. Located in Armory Square, Citronelle will be occupying the ground floor of the Onondaga Music Co. and facing South Clinton Street.
Demolition has already taken place in the small parking lot facing Walton Street. Restaurant owner Methin “Max” Chutinthranond plans to convert the space into the entrance to Citronelle’s bar area. The location of the new entrance would bring in more natural lighting.
“We think it’s the best way to use it,” Chutinthranond said to Syracuse.com. “Not just use it as a parking lot.”
According to Chutinthranond, the early plans for the space are near completion. Furniture has been ordered, the sous chef has been hired, and a 21-foot glass atrium is ready for installation by early 2018.
The decision to construct Citronelle in such a large space may seem intimidating for some in the shadow of Black Olive’s absence. The wine bar left 250 S. Clinton St. in spring 2017 because the space was just too big. The space is currently being developed as an office space. However, for Chutinthranond, the owner of the Armory Square’s Lemon Grass, the 9,000 square foot space is a challenge worth facing.
“We own the building,” Chutinthranond said. Ownership places the cost of overhead prices that much lower. What’s more, Chutinthranond’s business plans consist of keeping the bar and restaurant open for only five days a week with the banquet space open for partitioning based on crowd sizes.
The banquet space is designed to host groups of up to 300 and will be used for events such as holiday parties, rehearsal dinners, and sweet sixteens (a coming of age party that celebrates a girl’s 16th birthday in North America).
However, Chutinthranond admitted that the space may not work out in the long run after all. When asked regarding the potential success of the restaurant, Chutinthranond shrugged. “Maybe not,” he said. “But I think so.”
The building’s construction could be done by March 2018. Chutinthranond plans to open the new restaurant, which would serve new American cuisine, in the late spring.