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Owners of former Niagara Club obtain grant for makeover including new Spot Coffee

The planned makeover of Niagara Falls' historic Niagara Club received another boost Wednesday from the Niagara County Industrial Development Agency.

The agency, which granted a 10-year property tax and sales tax break for the renovation in February, gave the new owners a $523,250 grant toward their $3.55 million project.

The money came from the Cataract Tourism Fund, which the NCIDA supervises.

Nirel Patel, president of Rupal Hospitality, said the project at 24 Buffalo Ave. needed additional aid because of the subsequent decision to add a Spot Coffee location on the ground floor.

Spot Coffee, Patel said, is "ingrained in the community of Western New York, very popular."

He said that Spot Coffee also will offer a lunch menu, which Patel thinks will "draw people out of the state park. ... There's only about two lunch places where you can have a hearty lunch."

Besides the addition of the coffee shop, Patel said the company has discovered that the roof, electrical wiring and heating and air conditioning systems in the building need more work than they had thought.

Patel said the finishes of the various rooms will reflect "the style of the 1920s."

Rupal Hospitality, which also owns the Courtyard by Marriott hotel a few blocks away, bought the Niagara Club in 2009 and operated an Indian restaurant there until last year.

The building was erected in the 1860s and functioned as one of Niagara Falls' most prominent social clubs and event venues from 1901 to 1996.

In addition to Spot Coffee, Rupal Hospitality's plans include a rooftop bar and dining area to be called the Gold Cure, as well as a 250-seat banquet venue and four virtual reality "escape rooms."

The rooftop bar will provide a view of the nearby rapids of the upper Niagara River. The building is located across from the First Street bridge to Goat Island.

The coffee shop is due to open this fall and the bar, banquet facility and virtual reality rooms are expected to be ready next spring.

Subsequent phases of the project, not part of Wednesday's grant application, call for a cigar lounge and an ax-throwing range on the second floor, and a lounge with tabletop arcade games, to be called the Recovery Room, on the third floor.

About 30 jobs are expected to be created by the renovation.


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