Chef owner, Kevin Gentile, had high hopes for his popular restaurant, Gentile's, when he moved to his new location on North Geddes Street.
"I found this location and it was absolutely perfect for me. Banquet facility upstairs, main dining room downstairs, and able to increase my kitchen," says Gentile.
He hit a bump in the road when a hold up with the New York State Liquor Authority forced him to operate for a year without serving the specialty drinks he's known for. He says regular customers stopped coming and business was hurting.
"I honestly had never thought that my front door worked the way that it did. It reminded me of a revolving door. As soon as they came in they left," says Gentile.
Gentile was told the hold up was due to a state regulation that says alcohol can't be served within 200 ft. of a church. However, the three surrounding churches supported the restaurant's request.
"I'm not a nightclub. I'm a fine dining restaurant. I don't advertise nor will I ever be open to 2am with loud music and so on and so forth. They were aware of that. I signed a paper saying I would not be that restaurant," says Gentile.
Gentile took his plight to New York City and fought for his license in person. He was finally given the green light on Wednesday, when the authority realized the positive impact a fine dining establishment would have on Syracuse's deteriorating near westside.
"The reason why we were granted this is to not detour business owners that are purchasing property here. To continue to purchase property in a place that's underdeveloped," says Gentile.
After nearly 10 years in business, Gentile's has come to be known for their specialty cocktails. After only two days with a liquor license, they've wasted no time preparing a list of Springtime cocktails to choose from.
"I can't tell you how much I'm thankful to be granted the privilege to have the liquor license but now were up and running in full swing," says Gentile.