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Downtown restaurant closes after 16 years, but something new is coming

Archive photo of food prepared Citilites. Photo by Alexis Larsen
Archive photo of food prepared Citilites. Photo by Alexis Larsen

Officials says Citilites at Schuster Center will re-emerge with new name and concept later this year.

A restaurant in the heart of downtown’s theater center has closed.

Citilites — located inside the Schuster Performing Arts Center, 1 West Second St. — will be replaced by a restaurant offering a new concept, Ty Sutton, president and CEO for Victoria Theatre Association, told this news organization this afternoon.

The Victoria Theatre Association owns and operates the Schuster Center and the restaurant.

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Sutton said it was high time for a makeover to meet the needs of theater-goers and other patrons and address lagging sales.

“The space hasn’t been renovated since 2003,” he said. “More than anything the model of what people want downtown has chanced.”

Citilites boasted “farm-to-table American bistro-style food” in a fine dining setting for lunch and before shows.

The new restaurant will offer quicker service before and after show, Sutton said, noting that there are far more fine dining restaurants downtown than when Citilites opened 16-years ago.

Dayton-based design group The Idea Collective is helping the Victoria Association with the project that will include a more lounge-like feel with dense, but comfortable seating, Sutton said.

Weekday lunch will not be offered in the future as the restaurant focus on the needs of the 2,500 people who attend each show, he said.

“It is really more to emphasize (that the restaurant) is an amenity for our patrons,” Sutton said. “What most of them want is a small bite and a drink before the show.”

The restaurant space will be renovated and the new eatery will open this fall with its new name, look and feel, Diane Schoeffler-Warren, a Victoria spokeswoman said.

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Citilities employed 20 people,  she noted.

Elite Catering and Events will handle upcoming catered events at the Schuster.

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Beverage and snack services offered during Schuster Center shows will not be impacted.

“Flash in the Pan Paella” was created specifically for the performance of Flashdance happening Jan. 20-25 by Tim Schonsheck, Executive Chef for Citilites at The Schuster Center. Photo by Alexis Larsen
“Flash in the Pan Paella” was created specifically for the performance of Flashdance happening Jan. 20-25 by Tim Schonsheck, Executive Chef for Citilites at The Schuster Center. Photo by Alexis Larsen

The restaurant has served about 451,760 diners since opening.

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Those with upcoming dinner reservations will be contacted by the restaurant’s management, according to the VTA.

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