Work is underway to fill a downtown Binghamton site that's been vacant since a fast-moving fire destroyed a building near a quarter-century ago.

A restaurant and tavern is planned for the site at 138 Washington Street. It's located between Hawley and Court streets a couple of blocks from City Hall.

Excavation work in progress at the site of a future beer garden in downtown Binghamton. Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News
Excavation work in progress at the site of a future beer garden in downtown Binghamton. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)
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Former Mayor Richard David announced plans last February for what he says will be a beer garden.

David told WNBF News the site preparation began about a week ago. Pritchard Development Corporation is doing the initial work before the building is erected.

Workers at 138 Washington Street in Binghamton on July 24, 2023. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)
Workers at 138 Washington Street in Binghamton on July 24, 2023. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)
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It's expected to take about two weeks to put the prefab structure into place. The pre-engineered one-story building will come from Essex Structural Steel of Cortland.

David said he hopes the new business can open within 90 days. The beer garden - which will be called Stadium 138 - will have outdoor seating for several dozen people in front of the building. Indoor capacity is expected to be between 50 and 75 people.

The vacant site at 138 Washington Street on March 3, 2023. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)
The vacant site at 138 Washington Street on March 3, 2023. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)
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The former mayor said "it's exciting to clean up the vacant site." He declined to reveal the cost of the project.

The property has been empty since a fire on December 31, 1999 tore through a building that had housed the Royal Lounge and an adult bookstore.

David acquired the property for $50,000 in July 2009 before he became mayor.

VIDEO: Watch work underway at the Washington Street site in downtown Binghamton.

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Contact WNBF News reporter Bob Joseph: bob@wnbf.com or (607) 545-2250. For breaking news and updates on developing stories, follow @BinghamtonNow on Twitter.

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