Palace Properties has begun construction of the bar “Intermissions” which will reside at 8 1/2 Center St.—three doors down from Geneseo’s Riviera Theater. Although its first intent is to service the theater, the bar will also stand alone; serving drinks and snacks to customers. According to Rivera Theater and Palace Properties owner Don Livingston the building—formerly Forever Art II—was acquired by his company in fall 2015. Rather than wait, Livingston and his team jumped into the project, beginning construction last week.
“The inside is well on its way,” Livingston said. “The bar is already built.”
Coined by a nephew of Livingston, Intermissions represents its correlation to the theater with which it will ultimately be connected.
Livingston plans to replicate a similar interior to that of the Riviera with a green and gold vintage design. He described it as a “step back in time” and emphasized the intent for an upscale atmosphere.
“It’s going to be a place where you can go and have a good time,” Livingston said. “Anyone of age is welcome.”
Livingston added that he plans to televise sporting events—such as baseball and football games—and broadcast shows happening live from the theater.
Palace Properties is currently interviewing candidates to find someone to run and manage the bar. They plan to finish building and fully open the establishment sometime during the spring, “Hopefully before graduation,” Livingston said.
The construction of Intermissions is the second of three phases to create what Livingston referred to as the “Riviera Entertainment Plaza,” which will be comprised of the Riviera Theater, Intermissions and a restaurant connecting the two. The restaurant—tentatively Italian—will be built several years down the road.
“The people who know about the final project are very enthusiastic. It’s not often that something like this comes to life in a small town,” Livingston said. “You usually have to go to downtown Rochester or Syracuse. To have this opportunity in our village excites a lot of people.”
Main Street manager junior Caroline Wilson also expressed her belief that the bar will be a positive addition to the community.
“I think that Geneseo Main Street is in the market for a new bar … the timing is right,” she said. “As a college town, it’s something that can succeed. I’m excited to see the final product.”
The Riviera reopened approximately one year ago and has garnered support from the community since its renovation. Livingston mentioned that local support is “fantastic,” but he wished more students would attend showings and events.
Along with additions like Sweet Arts Bakery and Bar-Eat-O, Livingston said he thinks Main Street is headed in a positive direction for the local community and students alike.
“Small town USA is dying,” he said. “We are hoping to make Geneseo downtown the exception.”