ROTTERDAM — Interior reconstruction work has begun at the former Mallozzi's banquet hall on Curry Road.
The longtime Rotterdam landmark — which hosted wedding receptions, retirement parties and family and business gatherings for nearly 30 years — closed after a final wedding party in late September.
The last day was scheduled months ago. Officials from Eddy SeniorCare, part of St. Peter's Health Partners, last November announced they would be leasing the 20,000-square-foot space at 1930 Curry Road.
The move will allow SeniorCare's "Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly" — PACE — to serve an additional 55 seniors. PACE is designed to help frail elderly adults live independently in their community, manage their medical conditions and avoid placement in nursing facilities.
"Renovations are going to start in a few weeks," said Bobby Mallozzi, a member of The Mallozzi Group.
Several factors were considered in the Mallozzi decision to close the banquet business and lease the property — which was once also home to the DiBella banquet hall and before that, John Bigsbee Elementary School.
"First and foremost, it was a great opportunity for the Eddy because they were losing their lease, they were actively looking for a new home and they were struggling trying to find a location that was going to be adequate and meet all their needs," Mallozzi said. "The size they had been looking for was 20,000 square feet and our property was just slightly over 20,000 square feet."
The Mallozzi Group also considered the economics of an upgrade.
"It was an aging facility," Mallozzi said.
"It's been Mallozzi's since 1991," Mallozzi continued. "So, we were faced with that reality. 'Do we sink a lot of money into this property?' The days of brides looking to be married in banquet halls is sort of a thing of the past, that trend has now changed. They're looking for not only destination weddings but barn weddings, farm weddings.
"It's a different generation," Mallozzi added. "Our time at that location, I think, had passed."
Mallozzi also said the Mallozzi Group — whose holdings include the Villa Italia pasticceria, Johnny's restaurant, restaurants at the Rivers Casino & Resort, Treviso restaurant at the Italian American Community Center in Albany and the Belvedere Hotel in Rotterdam — is holding more events at the casino through its catering operation.
The group, Mallozzi said, will concentrate on catering.
"As many weddings as we were doing at Mallozzi's last year, we had done off-premises last year," Mallozzi said.
No jobs were lost with the banquet hall's closure. Some employees were transferred to other Mallozzi locations, others switched roles.
"It's been positive all around," Mallozzi said.
SeniorCare's PACE recently re-located from 504 State St. in Schenectady to a temporary site in the Rotterdam Industrial Park. At the site, participants continue to receive PACE services, including transportation to and from the day center and medical appointments.
PACE hopes to open at the Curry Road location on Aug. 1, 2020. The relocation is funded in part by a $1 million grant from the Dormitory Authority of the state of New York.
"Moving to this larger location will enable us to increase the number of seniors we serve every day, expand and improve the care we provide and make it easier for family members to visit their loved ones," said Kim Baker, president of continuing care at St. Peter's Health Partners, when the relocation was announced last year.
Landscaped outdoor space and plentiful parking will be other perks.
Contact Gazette reporter Jeff Wilkin at 518-395-3124 or at [email protected].