Vacant il Spazio building gets new owner, tenant

A familiar vacant building in downtown Kirksville is getting a new tenant, but the business isn't new to town.

Opie's Pool Hall and Steakhouse, located along Highway 63 south of Kirksville, is moving from its current location to the former Il Spazio building on West Washington Street.

Opie's owner, Randy Forquer II, just bought the building from the Bank of Kirksville last week.

In making the move, Forquer is banking on an increase in the flow of customers.

"I was able to get the building at a reasonable cost, and it's downtown,â?? said Forquer. â??It's closer to the people. I think it'll be more traffic and more business than it will be where I'm presently at."

Forquer told KTVO he hopes to have the steakhouse open in about a month or so.

â??Right now, we're tearing everything out that I don't need,â?? said Forquer. â??I need a lot of open floor space. I don't need a lot of fixtures so we're taking out fixturesâ?¦to open up floor space to make room for pool tables."

Forquer said Opie's Pool Hall will be located in the back of the former Il Spazio restaurant.

The pool tables should be moved in within approximately two months.

He said there will be fewer pool tables because he wonâ??t have as much room.

The dining room will be in the front of the building.

Once it's up and running at the new location, Opie's Steakhouse will also start offering a lunch menu in addition to its current dinner menu.

Il Spazio went out of business in mid-2010.

The Bank of Kirksville unsuccessfully tried to sell the former Il Spazio building on the courthouse steps in early October 2011.

Several spectators showed up at the foreclosure sale, but no one bid on the building.

The Bank of Kirksville had foreclosed on restaurant owner Jeff Newton after he was unable to keep up the loan payments.

Newton blamed the economic downturn that hit in 2007 for decreasing sales and forcing him out of business.