A downtown developer’s plans for a vacant building on Franklin Avenue promises to bring more business and foot traffic to what just a year ago had been a neglected block of downtown.
This week, Art Russo of Scranton purchased the Bittenbender Building, which formerly housed the popular Whistles Pub and Eatery. His rough plans for the building call for 15 apartments on the third and fourth floors, possibly offices on the second floor, and a restaurant, deli and possibly a third ground-floor tenant.
“The first floor space is too big for one restaurant, and we’d like to create space for two or three different business,” Mr. Russo said.
He’s talked to a potential operator of a deli that sells prepared foods and some groceries as a potential tenant. The restaurant and kitchen side, which has equipment in place, is a turnkey operation, Mr. Russo said. The former Whistles had a sizable back room, which could have potential as a third entity.