Zambistro Prepares Groundwork for $220K Expansion Project

The Medina Village Board met on Monday, voting to support an application for grant funding to Main Street’s Zambistro restaurant.  The estimated cost of the project is $220,000, which covers construction, refrigeration equipment and other smaller upgrades for the popular local eatery.  If the application gets final approval, the grant should provide around $60,000 to $80,000 in funding towards costs. 

This project itself includes an expansion into the property next door at 410 Main St.  It will also provide a new event space suited for around 50 people.  A small bar is being added as well.  Grant funding to support this effort would be pulled from New York State’s Office of Community Renewal, beneath the Community Development Block program.

Gabrielle Barone, VP of Business Development at Orleans Economic Development Agency, represented Zambistro restaurant during the meeting.  Overseeing the process, she explained how the funding works.  “It’s half loan and half forgivable grant.”  She added, “The loan portion is paid back into the revolving loan fund that is then loaned out to other businesses.”  The loan fund is managed by the Orleans Land Restoration Corporation.  The corporation is part of the Orleans Economic Development Agency.

Barone added that the OEDA is experienced in handling the grant application process. “Now, we have overseen, approximately, between 25 and 30 of these (grant applications). Over the last 18 years, we have been successful and have had awards for all of them.”

The expansion is expected to create 2 full-time jobs, and 4 part-time jobs over the course of two years.  Barone added, “The business doesn’t get the award until they create the investment, then make and retain the jobs.”  Those positions would be, in accordance with the grant’s specifications, offered to low- and moderate-income level individuals first.  If none apply, then the position can be opened to everyone.