FULTON — Two animal enthusiasts are looking to breathe life back into a familiar Fulton building and transform it into a new state-of-the-art pet care facility.
Fort Frisbee is scheduled to open in January 2022 at 801 W. Broadway in Fulton, featuring a variety of services including grooming, boarding, daycare, and more, according to owner Steve Mollica.
“We saw the void in the community for this type of service,” Mollica told The Palladium-Times this week. “We are going to be a one-stop shop for everybody with every service under one roof.”
The nearly 4,000-square-foot building most recently housed the former Sweet Inspirations restaurant from 1987 until it closed. The former restaurant was a destination for those seeking summer treats, and also was a venue for classic car shows.
However, the building has stood empty along Route 3 since the eatery closed. That was until Mollica and his wife Dr. Andrea Dattellas gazed upon the site and saw an opportunity to bring their dream to life.
According to the owners, nailing down a location was one of the largest challenges since their idea was born nearly two years ago. The vacant restaurant, the third location they looked into, offered some benefits, they said.
“The location is perfectly between Oswego and Syracuse. People on their commute can drop their pets off,” Dattellas said, noting the convenience of the location was one of their main drawing points toward the property.
Mollica echoed Dattellas’ thoughts and said the former restaurant was the right location due to the high volume of traffic traveling to and from the city of Fulton along Route 3.
“It is close to everything and also not close enough to where there would be an issue with noise or any complaints,” he said of the building’s location outside the city of Fulton.
Dattellas has been working with animals her whole life and has owned and operated the Fulton Animal Hospital since 2014. Mollica, a U.S. Army veteran, has spent more than a decade working in the military and currently works as a military animal care specialist.
Mollica told The Palladium-Times that deep down he knew one day he knew he would own his own business.
“One of the biggest inspirations was my wife. She got me into animals,” he said. “It’s kind of always been my thing. I have enjoyed (running a business) and I didn’t realize it until just recently.”
Prior to serving in the Army, Mollica said as a kid he would run small magic shows for his neighborhood and as a teenager sold websites and domains as a way to make money. Building on that experience, he wanted to go bigger and go all out.
Community members entering the building will find it to be completely different, Mollica said, noting how a total interior renovation will transform the entire building and only the “roof and four walls” would remain. Interior demolition was to start this week, he said.
Mollica said in addition to the unique spin on pet care, one of the highlights of the business is the connection it will have to the veterans’ community and how he plans to support fellow veteran-owned pet-related businesses.
“My vision is to have the business support other veterans,” Mollica said. “I am going to sell stuff specifically from veteran companies to support other veteran companies.”
When asked if she could foresee any complications running the animal hospital and Fort Frisbee, Dattellas said the challenges would be tough, but she and her husband were ready to take on those challenges.
“It’s going to be a lot of work but we are going to bounce ideas off each other and we will learn from each other’s mistakes,” Dattellas said. “We are not sit-around kind of people. It will be fine.”
Fulton Mayor Deana Michaels welcomed the new venture and expressed excitement about the new business.
“Fulton is growing once again,” Michaels said in an Oct. 4 Facebook post, highlighting the “state-of-the-art” facility’s slew of services and the benefits the community will have from this business opening. “(The owners) have spent several years working with the city to find the right location. We are thrilled they chose Fulton to start their next business.”