By JESSICA ARSENAULT RIVENBURG

ILION – While hard to tell from the front of the current store, and business continues as usual, construction on the new Stewart’s shop in Ilion is well underway and set for a Sept. 13 opening.

The new shop, located directly behind the current one, is considerably larger and will bring an increase in products and amenities offered. There will be a larger and covered outdoor seating area, expanded booth-seating indoors, a walk-in Beer Cave, more gas pumps, including diesel, a propane tank exchange, two public restrooms, an expanded produce and grocery section and the addition of fresh pizza to the hot food selection, said Erica Komoroske, Director of Public Affairs for Stewart’s Shops.

The new shop faces east, and will have two entrances; the main entrance on the east face and a secondary one on the south end, facing East Clark Street. According to schematics, the gas pumps will remain where they currently sit. Driveway entrances will be in their current locations on East Clark Street, with a new one on East North Street. Outdoor seating will be under an awning on the north end of the building, near East North Street.

Construction began in early July with the demolition of three houses on East North Street.

“The project has taken a long time from a planning perspective,” said Komoroske. “About a year. But once started, our building projects usually run about nine weeks. And Ilion looks like it will hit that mark.”

The Sept. 13 opening will be a soft opening, with the grand opening to take place some time in late October, she said.