GLENS FALLS — The movie projector has gone dark downtown with the closing of 190 Grille & Cinema, as the proprietor wants to focus on her food truck business and her family.
Business co-owner Heather O’Neill said it has been difficult to juggle the needs of the downtown business, the food truck and burgeoning catering business and two teenage boys.
“It was kind of like a perfect storm. The lease was up, so that was part of the decision,” she said.
The business closed on Saturday, putting about 10 people out of work.
O’Neill said she recently got back from Killington Mountain in Vermont where the food truck was serving at the World Cup Giant Slalom. She is heading to Lake Placid in two weeks for the World Cup Luge.
The catering business is also on an upswing. She recently finished catering for the “Spy Intervention” movie that filmed in Glens Falls and has other events scheduled in December.
“I don’t need to work seven days a week. I’m a single parent, so I’m the one who’s responsible for both my kids,” she said.
O’Neill said it has been a poor year at the box office.
“Maybe it was just an off year,” she said.
However, she said Hollywood’s output did not play a role in deciding to close.
“We just happened to go off in a different direction,” she said.
Customers who have unused gift certificates may send them for reimbursement to 190 Grille & Cinema, P.O. Box 3282, Glens Falls, NY 12801.
O’Neill said there is no timeline on when people have to turn in their gift certificates. She will refund the money.
“If you happen to come across it in six months, send it in,” she said. “We have a printout of how much gift certificates are worth.”
She said the landlord has been great and that amazing things are happening in downtown Glens Falls.
“I like that Rude Betty just opened up,” she said, referring to a new store on Exchange Street. “It’s nice to see some new retail coming in. That’s definitely something that’s needed down here.”
O’Neill said she planned to stay involved in the theater and film festivals, but not as a business.
This could be the end of the line for the dinner-and-a-movie concept in downtown Glens Falls.
The O’Neills had taken over for Aimie’s Dinner & Movie, which closed in August 2015 after 14 years of operation. The historic B.B. Fowler Co. building was in the process of being sold at that time to Fowler Building Associates, an entity created by JMZ Architects & Planners, which has its office on the upper floors of the building.
Tenée Casaccio of Fowler Building Associates was upbeat about the prospects of finding a new business.
“We’ve got some wonderful potential tenants, none of which I am at liberty to tell you about,” he said.
Casaccio said the O’Neills had given notice that they were not going to renew, so they had already had conversations with interested parties. She added that she received an inquiry on Tuesday — before news of the closure was formally announced and before any advertising has been done.
“I take that as an optimistic sign that we will not have difficulty filling the space,” she said.
Casaccio said the space does not necessarily have to remain a restaurant and movie theater. The kitchen and bar is in the rear of the building.
“The front area could easily be converted to some other use that may or not be connected to the restaurant and bar. We’re open to all options,” she said.
The structure has high tin ceilings, wood floors and exposed brick walls, according to Casaccio.
“Architecturally, it’s the kind of space that people gravitate to,” she said. “I’m very optimistic about filling the space quickly.”
She said it would be realistic to have a new tenant in place by the start of the new year.
EDC Warren County President Edward Bartholomew has offered to assist the building owners in efforts to find a tenant. He said it is a great location with about 6,500 square feet of space available.
“I think that we’re growing and potentially some options may exist for some retail space or other uses for the building that would be complementary to downtown,” he said.
The 190 Grille & Cinema opened in February 2016. The O’Neill family had previously operated the Olde Post Grille on the Million Dollar Half Mile in Queensbury for 13 years.
The O’Neills renovated the dining area, which had previously been a lobby. The theaters also received new painting, lighting and upholstery. They also upgraded the bar area.
The business was co-owned by Kerry Metivier and his wife, Sandy until the building was sold. Kerry Metivier’s father-in-law, Bud Wolf, was the previous owner.