The following is a republished press release from the Downtown Ithaca Alliance and NOT written by the Ithaca Voice … click here to submit community announcements directly to The Voice, or contact me at msmith@ithacavoice.com.

ITHACA, NY – The Downtown Ithaca Alliance (DIA) and City of Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick will host a pair of ribbon cutting ceremonies on Friday, Sept. 2 to welcome two of the latest establishments to open on The Commons.

The first ribbon cutting ceremony will be held at 11:30 a.m. at Due Amici Ristorante, in the newly renovated space at 124 East State St., on The Commons between Petrune and Julie A. Stone Salon, and will be immediately followed by a ceremony at The Range, 119 East State St., above Trader K’s on The Commons.

Downtown Ithaca’s ribbon cuttings are free and open to the public and members of the press.

Mediterranean style at Due Amici Ristorante

“Due Amici is an incredible story of perseverance and hard work. Owner Hicham Oulida has worked over so many obstacles to make this project happen. The result is a beautiful restaurant that will be a fixture here in Ithaca for years to come,” said DIA Executive Director Gary Ferguson.

Longtime Ithacan restaurateur Hicham Oulida developed Due Amici with his best friend Tezzi Azeddine. The pair cited a need for traditional Mediterranean dishes in the area. Oulida, the former Gateway Kitchen and Casablanca Pizzeria owner, said he’s returning to his roots to create authentic Moroccan, Italian, and Mediterranean food dishes that are unlike the meals served at the city’s other Mediterranean restaurants.

“These dishes come from family recipes that my mother taught my brothers and me how to make. There will be a lot of different spices and fresh ingredients in each dish, so they will be bursting with flavor,” Oulida said.

He’s especially thrilled about serving succulent rotisserie chickens, which are topped with Moroccan harissa hot sauce, tikka masala, biryani, or one of a variety of other sauces.

Due Amici is also offering pizza, a staple at Oulida’s former establishments. More than a dozen varieties of pizzas and pasta will be available to those customers who prefer an Italian option with a Mediterranean twist. Burgers, wraps, calzones and subs can also be found on the menu along with several other classic pizzeria type fare.

“I want people to experience that they can purchase and eat a slice of delicious pizza at a really dining facility,” Oulida said.

Oulida added that he invested a lot of time and money towards redesigning the interior. Indoor seating is available for approximately 50 guests, and the newly designed kitchen area is enormous. Oulida said the plan for the gigantic kitchen is eventually teach cooking classes in it.

Due Amici is open from 10 a.m to 1 a.m. Monday through Saturday and from 10 a.m. to midnight on Sundays. Delivery and catering services are available. Additional information, including a full menu, is available on Due Amici’s Facebook page.

Due Amici Ristorante, the newest Mediterranean restaurant to open on The Commons, is hosting a grand opening celebration during Labor Day Weekend. (Provided photo.)

Saloon style bar, The Range

The Range, downtown Ithaca’s newest bar which opened earlier this month, brings the wild west and a new live performance venue to Ithaca.

Decor is the 2,400-square foot space consists of images of John Wayne and other noted country-western legends, an antler chandelier, and a giant, hand-painted mural featuring a scenic rural outdoors landscape and wildlife – a honky tonk type atmosphere that the city hasn’t had at an establishment in recent years.

“Tom and I love the feel of that style and decor,” said The Range Co-owner Andrew Schreck who has partnered with Tommy Grozier on this venture. “Both of us put a lot of work and thought into it and we are very pleased with the finished product.”

“With the high ceilings, it really feels very open with lots of space to not feel overly crowded. And, with great landlords like Trader K’s folks, the option to start a business here was a no-brainer,” Schreck added.

With more than two dozen selections of bottled and tap beers along with a variety of liquors and spirits of to choose from, beer connoisseurs and general patrons are sure to find a drink or two to enjoy as they absorb The Range’s old western vibe.

In addition to offering a casual and cozy saloon themed scene, The Range will provide live entertainment two to three times each week. Acts such as The Cheyenne Band, Rapid River Boys, Emily Yates with Sixteen Feathers Band and Noon Fifteen are scheduled to perform in September on bar’s new stage that comes equipped with a sound system. Three televisions, a pool table, and corn hole are also available for entertaining guests.

“We want our customers to feel welcome and have both a great place to hear local/national music as well as a relaxed feel with a staff that makes people of all ages really feel like one of our own,” Schreck said.

The Range is open from 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. daily. More information, including a listing of upcoming events, is available at www.therangeithaca.com.

The Range features a saloon style atmosphere where patrons can go to socialize over a couple of drinks and/or listen to live music performers. (Provided photo.)

Michael Smith

Michael Smith reports on politics and local news for the Ithaca Voice. He can be reached via email at msmith@ithacavoice.com, by cell at (607) 229-0885, or via Google Voice at (518) 650-3639.