WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – For the second time this week, Warren developer Mark Marvin announced a major project for downtown. On Tuesday, it was the renovation of the Robins Theatre. Thursday, it was a new restaurant, which he hopes becomes a destination point.
Set in the shadow of the Trumbull County Courthouse is the contemporary building that once housed the SCOPE Senior Center. Set along the Mahoning River, it’ll soon be a restaurant.
“They wanted to create a destination in downtown Warren,” Marvin said.
That destination will be built by Marvin, who was joined by those who made it possible on Thursday. Singled out were the Western Reserve Port Authority and the City of Warren.
“I can’t say enough about Mark’s enthusiasm, his dedication, his commitment to his hometown,” Mayor Doug Franklin said.
“To see the river, to see the amphitheater, to see the downtown from this viewpoint, you’re going to be excited as well,” said John Moliterno, with the Western Reserve Port Authority.
Marvin described the changes he’ll make both inside and out.
“In the back part of this area will be a half-moon sit-down bar,” he said. “We’re going to put cobblestone all throughout the patio. We’re going to have two or three fountains outside and, possibly, they’ve talked to us about putting a tiki bar outside during the summertime.”
The back of the building is basically one long room, part of which may be used to make wine behind a plexiglass wall. The rest of the back will be a banquet room with seating for up to 90 people.
“We’ll change, obviously, some colors here, we’ll change the floor, we’ll make it more like a winery, more like the Roman style we’re looking for in here,” Marvin said.
He has a name for the restaurant but won’t release it yet.
Marvin’s company, Downtown Development Group, will pay the $400,000 dollars to renovated it. He hopes to have it open by late fall.
Getting the restaurant deal done took about a year. First, the SCOPE center had to be relocated to the YWCA, then the city had to sell the building to the Port Authority, which then sold it to Marvin.
“Collaboratively, we think this is going to be a great effort to bring everything back downtown and start cycling it back out again from downtown, and spread it out from there. So we’re really looking forward to this effort here, getting this thing in place and getting it moving.”