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Pano's reopens while construction continues next door

Nick Lippa

An Elmwood staple is back in business. After several months of renovations, Pano’s has reopened under the new ownership of Mark Chason. Meanwhile, construction continues next door for what will be a 40-unit condominium project on the corner of Elmwood and Forrest. 

Pano’s may have taken longer than expected to get back up and running, but Chason is happy to finally see things operational.

“There were a few delays. Some of it is that we ended up doing more work than we originally had planned,” said Chason. “I’m glad we did, but it’s always a little tricky trying to find that date.”

Councilmember Joel Feroleto was in attendance for the ribbon cutting and is excited Pano’s is remaining a part of the community.

“This has always been a landmark on Elmwood Avenue and it’s going to continue to be a destination for both people that live in the Elmwood Village, people from outside of the city, people coming from outside of the town for many years to come,” said Feroleto.

Chason’s next project is something that Elmwood Village Association Executive Director Ashley Smith is looking forward to. She said density is activity and is always a booster for neighboring businesses.

“I would also add each business is different. Each building is different,” said Smith. “We have seen quite a bit of turnover on Elmwood Avenue in the last couple of years. Some of that is really natural. For example, the Subway building (on Forrest and Elmwood), I know there’s a lot. That building has recently changed ownership and that there’s renovations under way there.”

Credit Nick Lippa / WBFO

With the new development comes criticism. Smith said there is definitively a huge contingent of citizens in the city who are really interested in design issues and the green code.

“So what I would say that we’re hearing from residents is that diversity of an opinion of what Elmwood Avenue looks like in the future,” Smith. “We as an organization certainly would like to be a part of that conversation in helping to facilitate community members coming together to determine what the next iteration of the Elmwood Village looks like.”

Now that Pano’s is back open, attention will focus back to the progress being made next door.

“It’s great to see our businesses sticking around and those business going under new ownership and seeing the consistency of that,” said Smith. “Especially on a block that is experiencing a pretty significant transition with the new build. I will say that we’re excited to see that project progress, especially now that construction has begun. Obviously the sooner that that building can be ready, the better it is for all the neighbor buildings and residents.”

Even through the criticism, Chason said he has gotten good feedback thus far from community members about his ongoing projects.

“We’re excited about what’s happening here,” said Chason. “The project next door I think is going to add a nice component and new people coming in to the neighborhood. We thought the restaurant was really kind of a neat opportunity. We’re just excited about the whole thing.”

Credit Nick Lippa / WBFO

Nick Lippa leads our Arts & Culture Coverage, and is also the lead reporter for the station's Mental Health Initiative, profiling the struggles and triumphs of those who battle mental health issues and the related stigma that can come from it.
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