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Alexandria Bay business owner plans to purchase, renovate James Street buildings

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ALEXANDRIA BAY — A local business owner plans to purchase and refurbish two James Street buildings that once housed the Old Homestead and the Spot restaurants.

Alan E. Taylor said he and his wife, Michele T., owners of the Lil’ River Fudge Co., hope to open up a new restaurant and gift shop as soon as Memorial Day.

The buildings, which were partially refurbished by current owner Sean J. Donegan, require “a ton of work” — such as wiring and plumbing — to be used as commercial spaces again, Mr. Taylor said.

The couple also will be reaching out to local wineries to see if anyone would be interested in opening a satellite location at the Old Homestead. A gift shop and courtyard are planned at the property as well.

“It’s in a great location and draws a lot of local foot traffic because it’s so close to Uncle Sam’s Boat Tours,” he said.

The restaurant at the Spot would serve light fare, such as fish and chips, and will have a small bar.

He declined to comment on how much he intends to spend on the purchase and renovation of the two buildings. The assessed value of the 30 James St. property is $315,500, according to Jefferson County’s tax map.

Mr. Taylor said he also would like to repair the vintage neon signs, symbols of Alexandria Bay’s heyday that most downtown businesses have replaced with more modern signs.

“We’d like to repair the neon signs eventually, but it’s going to be very expensive,” he said.

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