A $4 million entertainment complex is planned to take the place of the Buy and Sell Shop, 701 E. Washington Ave., and the site of the late O’Cayz Corral depending on neighborhood and city support.
Café Continental owner Nick Schiavo plans to create a nightclub named La Cerise, which is French for “cherry,” as the focus of the project.
He also plans to include an upscale diner-café and live music venue to take the place of O’Cayz Corral.
Schiavo wants to create this new nightspot in honor of the Hotel Washington that burned down over five years ago and was never rebuilt.
La Cerise is intended to be mainly a gay nightclub while the other live music venue will cater to a general audience.
Cathy Dethmers, who ran O’Cayz until it burned down on New Year’s Day 2001, will also operate the new nightclub.
“I’m excited about it,” said Dethmers. “I think it’s really a great opportunity to put together a place that’s been missing in Madison for so long.”
Some salvaged memorabilia and bricks from O’Cayz will be used in the new venue, which has no official name yet.
Local architect Arlan Kay is working on the project and is impressed with the building’s structure.
“If you’ve ever been in the building, it’s amazingly intact,” Kay said.
Schiavo hopes to start work on the interior by January and complete it by June, if all goes as planned.
A neighborhood meeting to discuss the project will be held Thursday evening.