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‘Farm-to-table’ eatery aims to hit Restaurant Row

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‘Farm-to-table’ eatery aims to hit Restaurant Row

First-time restaurateurs have plans to open a “farm-to-table” restaurant in downtown’s Restaurant Row.

Modesto Ventures LLC, owned by Plainfield couple Daniel and Sofia Modesto, plans to purchase 37 W. New York St., a bank-owned property, and 35 W. New York St., a property the city bought earlier this year, in Restaurant Row. The 37 W. New York property was formerly home to the Comfort Zone Restaurant until the business closed in December 2011.

The Modestos plan to redevelop the two properties into one restaurant on New York Street immediately west of Chef Amaury’s Epicurean Affair restaurant, said Bill Wiet, the city’s Chief Development Officer.

In February, the city approved a plan for Batavia-based Aliano’s Ristorante to open a location in Aurora’s Restaurant Row.

The Modestos are civil engineers and Sofia Modesto also has a culinary arts degree, Wiet said.

“While this restaurant will be a first for them, they plan to specialize in the ‘farm-to-table’ approach of buying locally produced foods,” Wiet said.

Under the proposed agreement, the city will give Modesto the 35 W. New York property for free. Modesto Ventures will pay $135,000 to acquire the 37 W. New York bank-owned property and for the rehab of 35 W. New York, which is estimated to cost $120,000.

Modesto must substantially complete the project within 12 months of acquiring both property titles and agree to a three-year minimum lease for the restaurant to be located at 35-37 W. New York, under the proposal.

Making way for the Aliano’s deal earlier this year, the city purchased 35 W. New York, formerly known as the Lamplighter Tavern, for $280,000 using Tax Increment Financing funds from seller Marie F. Leach, according to city documents.

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