Changes continue in Village, help add variety to student retail area

The Daily News

The University Square building in the Village stands empty except a local restaurant, Oh! Fusion Japanese in August 2011. University Square has facade renovations planned for the future. DN FILE PHOTO JONATHAN MIKSANEK
The University Square building in the Village stands empty except a local restaurant, Oh! Fusion Japanese in August 2011. University Square has facade renovations planned for the future. DN FILE PHOTO JONATHAN MIKSANEK


A a specialty tequila and taco bar is open and ready for students in the Village as the new semester begins.

Red Bird Tequila and Taco Bar is the third business to open in University Square since the property was purchased by Milhaus Development for $1.3 million in April 2011.

Chris Ellison is the owner of Red Bird Tequila and Taco Bar, Cleo’s Bourbon Bar, The Silo and Columbia Theatre.

Ellison hopes that the Village can maintain the success it has and continue to expand with a variety of businesses.

“I would like to see more people come in and do more,” Ellison said. “The things that are currently there, it’s awesome that they’re able to be there and maintain with additional growth. There should be additional things coming in like a decent clothing chain [could] come in and make a presence.”

Ellison said Cleo’s, his first business in the Village, has maintained success since opening in December 2011.

“It’s been amazing as far as people coming in, and the customer base,” Ellison said. “We’re busy all the time, it’s awesome.”

In a previous interview with the Daily News, David Leazenby, vice president of Milhaus Development, said Ellison was planning on opening a Little Chicago Pizza in the Village.

Ellison confirmed that a Little Chicago Pizza is on the way for some point during the 2013 Spring Semester but did not reveal when.

He said while it will not be located in University Square, it will be in the Village, although he could not give an exact location.

Leazenby could not be reached for comment on the continued development of the University Square property, but in a June interview with the Daily News spoke of potential façade renovations to University Square in Spring 2013.

Other businesses leased in University Square include Dill Street Bar and Grill and cardinal cupcakes and coneys.

Also slated to open soon in the Village, although not in University Square, is late-night dessert option Insomnia Cookies.

Marketing Manager for Serve U Brands Renee Sarnecky said Insomnia Cookies will open sometime in January 2013, but the exact date has yet to be determined.

Currently, the Village location is putting together the final pieces and getting ready to open.

Sarnecky said Insomnia Cookies, which will be open until 3 a.m., will add to the late night food options near campus.

“It’s a fun late-night environment and another late-night option that we’re bringing to the campus,” Sarnecky said.

Ellison hopes the Village can maintain the success it has and continue to expand with a variety of businesses.

“I would like to see more people come in and do more,” Ellison said. “The things that are currently there, it’s awesome that they’re able to be there and maintain with additional growth. There should be additional things coming in like a decent clothing chain [could] come in and make a presence.”

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