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Summer’s not over yet

14 Aug

Whoa.

So the stores are stocking great quantities of school supplies again and I’m beginning to get great quantities of emails from the schools about opening day. Everyone else seems a whole lot more excited about the end of summer than I am.

If you’re like me and you want to squeeze every bit of summer out of the next few weeks, here are a few events to get you started.

NEQ vehiclesThis Thursday August 17, our local paramedic service, the NEQALS, will be hosting a food truck rodeo and craft show at the Firemen’s Field on Main Street, from 5 to 8 pm.

Food trucks that will be on hand include Netsins Ice Cream, Effortlessly Healthy, Macarollin and Heiztelamns.

Vendors will include Young Living, LuLaRoe, Honey and Lace, Pampered Chef, Usborne Books, Tupperware, Perfectly Posh, Tastefully Simple, Lip Sense, XS Energy, and Park Lane Paparazzi.

Live music will be provided by Bryan Prince. Funds raised that evening will help build a new NEQALS base here in town.

Two more food truck rodeos/fundraisers are scheduled for Thursday September 21 and Thursday October 19, all at the Firemen’s Field, and all between 5-8 p.m.

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Summer fun continues in the village these next two Tuesdays, August 15 and 22, with the weekly movies in the park series.

The Secret Life of Pets will be shown on August 15, rescheduled from July.

petsposterTaking place in a Manhattan apartment building, Max’s life as a favorite pet is turned upside down, when his owner brings home a sloppy mongrel named Duke. They have to put their quarrels behind when they find out that an adorable white bunny named Snowball is building an army of lost pets determined to take revenge.

Disney’s Big Friendly Giant is the featured attraction on Tuesday August 22.

In the movie, an orphan girl befriends a benevolent giant who takes her to Giant Country, where they attempt to stop the man-eating giants from invading the human world.

The movies are screened in the village of Webster’s Gazebo Park on North Avenue, beginning at dusk; approximate start times will be posted on the Webster BID website. Bring your chairs, blankets and picnic baskets, and make it a family night out. There’s no admission charge and free popcorn is provided.

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Portion of Hard Road to close Monday

2 Aug

hard road map

Chances are you’ve been seeing the warning signs posted near Hard Road recently regarding road closures there beginning Monday August 7. It’s basically the start of something we’ve all wanted for a long time: improvements to Ridge Road to help reduce the congestion.

Here are the details, pulled directly from the Emergency Alert posted to the Town of Webster website:

Beginning Monday, August 7, a roughly 400 ft stretch of Hard Road, between Ridge Road and the entrance to Hegedorns Market…will close in both directions for three weeks.

Crews will flatten the approach to the Ridge Road intersection, improving visibility.
The driveway to the grocery store on Hard Road will remain open. An official detour will direct motorists a mile and a half to the east on Route 104 or Ridge Road to Holt Road.

This is part of the ongoing $2.9 million highway project to upgrade two intersections on Route 404 (Ridge Road.) When complete, the expanded intersections of Route 404 at Five Mile Line and Hard roads will provide turn lanes, bicycle space, (and) new traffic signal systems with accommodations for pedestrians. Additionally, modifications to sidewalk ramps will be made at the intersections of Black Cherry and Webster Commons boulevards and Holt Road to bring these locations into compliance with the Americans with Disability Act.

The project is anticipated to be complete by Spring 2018. Traffic will generally be maintained on-site with morning and afternoon time restrictions. Access to driveways will be maintained during construction except during the three-week closure on Hard Road to flatten the roadway.

Hard Road Intersection

A right turn lane, bicycle lane and sidewalk will be added on Route 404 in the westbound direction at the intersection of Hard Road. A new traffic signal system, including protected left turn arrows in all directions, pedestrian crosswalks and countdown timers will be installed.

Five Mile Line Road Intersection

Right turn lanes will be added on Route 404 in both directions at Five Mile Line Road. A right turn lane will also be provided on Five Mile Line Road in the northbound direction.  The left turn lanes will be longer to provide more vehicle storage.  A dedicated bicycle lane between the travel lane and the right turn lanes will be added on Route 404.  A sidewalk will be provided to accommodate pedestrians. A new traffic signal system with pedestrian crosswalks and countdown timers will be installed.

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Successful Jazz Fest 2017 in the books

24 Jul

IMG_5542

I don’t know about you, but it seems to me that the Webster Jazz Fest keeps getting bigger every year. Pretty soon they’re going to have to move the stage another couple hundred feet down West Main to fit everyone.

It’s hard to believe that this year’s event was the 10th annual, and in that time, our little Jazz Fest has really grown into something that’s pretty well respected. Sure, it’s no Rochester Jazz Fest, but the two-day event features high-quality entertainment, great food courtesy our increasing variety of village restaurants, and — at least two years in a row now — nice weather.

Here are a few photos from the evening. Click here to see more in a gallery.

 

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BC’s Chicken Coop has new, bigger location

17 Jul

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After six and a half years on South Avenue, Brandie Rauber and Christina Wasson have finally found a bigger and better location for their popular village restaurant, BC’s Chicken Coop, now at 159 West Main Street.

Brandie and Chris opened The Coop in November 2010, jumping on the chance to take over the old pizza shop at 9 South Avenue shortly after it closed. Since then they’ve been cooking up the tastiest fried chicken and ribs this side of the Mississippi. (That’s not just my opinion. Their wings have won awards.)

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Chris Wasson and Brandie Rauber at the new Coop

In the years since, they became strong Webster supporters, building the kind of rock-solid, community-focused business that Webster desperately needs.

But they also struggled at times with health and financial issues, and the small space they had to work with didn’t make things any easier.

Their perseverance was finally rewarded at the end of June when they moved into their beautiful new, bigger and more visible restaurant on West Main.

There’s a lot to love about the new place. For starters, it’s about twice the size of the South Avenue location, which means a much bigger kitchen and more than four times the seating capacity. That’s plenty of room for people to stretch out and relax with a soda or water while their dinner is being cooked up fresh.

There’s also a public bathroom and plenty of parking right outside the front door, two things they didn’t have at all before.

Chris and Brandie have had to make some adjustments as they settle inIMG_5169. For example, on South Ave., everything was packaged for take-out, but now orders might need to be put in baskets to be served at a table. On the plus side, thanks to more storage space, now they have room to prepare some things ahead and don’t have to worry about running out of food.

What’s remained the same is the Coop’s outstanding menu. I’m a huge fan of their cornbread and juicy fried chicken, with a coating so flavorful I could eat all by itself.  But their ribs and wings are also highly rated. And they cook everything to order, using locally-sourced products.

It’s been a tough road, but Brandie and Chris have finally found themselves — and the Coop — in a pretty good place right now.

Judging from the constant stream of customers in and out of the Coop before and after the Firemen’s Parade last Thursday, it’s clear lots of people are excited about the move. Some were perhaps discovering the Coop for the first time, now that it’s so much more visible and accessible.

It’s been a dream come true for Brandie and Chris, and they’re grateful to Webster for helping them get there.

“This was the end goal, to do something like this,” Brandie said.

“I think that all of Webster from the get-go has pulled for us,” Chris said. “They kept us alive so that we could do this and we were determined not to leave Webster because of it.”

“I think it’s going to be like this forever,” she added.  I certainly hope so.

BC’s Chicken Coop is located at 159 West Main Street in Webster.  Click here to visit their Facebook page, or call 585-265-1185.

 

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Bygone blog: An entertaining trip to Bay Side

12 Jul

I was chatting about this blog with my friends the other night, so I thought I would give it the light of day once again.

Keep reading. It’s kind of a delightful story.

(originally published July 18, 2016)

Believe it or not, last night was the very first time my husband and I had ever been to the Bay Side Pub up on Lake Road. Our friends Dave and Patty invited us along when they headed up there for dinner. They warned us there’d be a wait for a table, but that we’d enjoy sitting outside with a beer and listening to some music while we did.

They were right on both counts. The wait was long because — as many of you probably already know —  Bay Side is quite small and apparently everybody in Webster knows that sitting on the Bay Side lawn on a gorgeous summer Sunday evening, drinking a beer and listening to music is THE thing to do.

Before too long we were joined by four other friends. We talked, and laughed, and sang along with a very entertaining local cover band called Vintage.

But the best part of the evening was what will forever be known as the Great Flip-Flop Rescue.

Allow me to paint the scene. We’re waiting at a table right on the water, and as we’re chatting, I watch as a young girl scampers down the short dock toward her family’s small boat. She stops in front of it and kicks off one of her flip-flops, expecting it to land in the boat. Not even close. Instead, it plops into the bay. Undaunted, she kicks off the other flip-flop. Which lands in the bay right next to the first one.

She stands there, looks at them, looks around to see if there’s someone who can help, looks at them again. Finally, she heads back down the dock, probably in search of adult assistance.

Eventually, Dad comes by, heads toward the water, looks at the flip-flops and walks back towards land with a rather peeved expression. Meantime, our victim scampers back and forth on the dock, flip-flop-less, while the wayward footwear continue to float away.

Before long, a small knot of family members and friends from the neighboring boat has convened on the dock, and the adult strategizing begins. Now all four of us, still waiting for dinner, are closely watching the action, anxious to see how the exciting drama plays out.

One of the flip-flops had not yet floated too far away, and somehow they retrieve that one rather quickly. The other one is more problematic.

There is much discussion on the dock. Someone pulls a pike pole out of one of the boats, and extends it to its full length before realizing that it would take about 10 of them to reach the flip-flop at this point. Someone starts uncoiling a road attached to a toddler’s floaty.  Someone else tries casting a fishing rod in its direction.

There is much discussion at our table, too. Like football fans questioning a poor call on the field, we’re wondering why SOMEONE doesn’t think to throw a tube into the water (there’s one tethered to flip-flop-family’s boat) and paddle over to it.

Perhaps she hears us, but it is flip-flop girl who finally also has that brilliant thought. Now hopping around in one flip-flop, she hops into her boat, pulls the tube up next to the side of the boat, and starts trying to climb in. As soon as she puts one foot on it she realizes that without help, she’ll also be in the water. So instead, she yanks on the rope and, all by herself, wrestles the tube into the boat.

Apparently no one else thinks it’s a brilliant idea, because it just sits there.

FINALLY, neighboring boat-owner-family figures they might as well head home. So they pull all their kids and stuff together, back their boat out of the dock, putter over to the flip-flop, retrieve it and return it to flip-flop girl.

There was actual cheering.

Next time Dave and Patty invite us to dinner and a show at the Bay Side, it probably won’t be quite the same. But I’ll definitely be back.

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Webster Community Mailbag

8 Jul

mailbagThis week’s mailbag is packed with news from the St. Martin Lutheran Church, the Webster Village Band and the town and village of Webster. So grab your calendar, and keep reading!

 

Pulled Pork Drive Thru BBQ

St. Martin Lutheran Church is holding a Pulled Pork Drive Thru barbecue on Saturday, July 15 from 4:30 until gone at the church on 813 Bay Road, Webster. Pull into the parking lot, place your order, and the dinner will be delivered to you in your car.

The take-out dinner includes pulled pork, roll, salt potatoes, cole slaw and cookie for $9.00. Proceeds support the church’s annual Christmas Stocking Project, which reaches more than 500 children and teens in Monroe and Wayne counties.

Webster Village Band 

The Webster Village Band‘s summer schedule is off to a strong start thanks to recent nice weather. Their most recent concert was held at the United Church of Christ last Wednesday, and was well attended.

Their next two appearances are their regular Thursday night gig at the band shell on Phillips Road, Thursday, July 20 beginning at 7 p.m., and their always popular Christmas in July concert at the Joe Obbie Farmer’s Market (Kohl’s/Target Plaza) on Saturday morning, July 22 beginning at 10 a.m.

The Webster Village Band is directed by Tom Indiano and Associate Director Sue Siegmund. Their concerts are always free and always open to the public. Here’s a quick slideshow of photos from last Wednesday’s UCC concert and last year’s Christmas in July.

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Town Hall Renovations are Progressing

Supervisor Nesbitt has provided an update on the Town Hall renovations. He writes:

All of the exposed asbestos has been removed, and now the crews have started on demolishing walls, ceilings, and floors.

There will be new restrooms for men and women installed, along with the updating of offices and the common rooms all around town hall. The new door entries are being installed so the wind does not catch the doors and break them anymore. There will also be more security put in place for our employees’ safety. Cameras will be installed in the building common areas and overlooking the parking lots for security of all.

The Police Department is seeing a complete face lift of their operation complete with cameras, new booking area, new locker rooms for the officers, upgrades to the detention area, and new flooring throughout the department.

So far, operating from the temporary offices in the Van Ingen Court Building seems to working out well. Remember that all Town Hall functions have been moved to the Van Ingen building (behind Town Hall) until construction is completed later this year. So bring all your business there, and make sure to have a smile for all the Town Hall employees who are enduring through it all!

Webster Waterfront Art Festival

Make sure to mark your calendars for the third annual Waterfront Art Festival, scheduled for Saturday, July 29 and Sunday, July 30 at North Ponds Park. Dozens of vendors will gather with high-quality craft items and good food, and entertainment will be provided throughout the day.

The best place to find parking is at the Xerox lot off of Phillips Road, where a free shuttle bus will take you to the park and back.

Summer in the Village

The summer village music scene is heating up. There have already been three concerts at the gazebo, and the Friday night series continues for the next two months, the next one scheduled for July 28 at 7 p.m., featuring the fusion sounds of The Ryan Johnson Project.

On the weekend prior to that, the 10th annual Webster Jazz Festival returns to Main Street on July 21 and 22.

Nationally acclaimed Fusion Jazz great Cabo Frio headlines the weekend, with other acts including The Mambo Kings, Walter Chatman, Jimmie Highsmith Jr, Paradigm Shift, El Rojo Jazz, Marco Amadio and many more.

Movies in the Park is also celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. Upcoming features include Tuesday night movies for kids like The Batman Lego Movie, and Disney’s Big Friendly Giant, and Saturday night date-night movies like Casablanca and the Out of Towners. The movies take place in Gazebo Park on North Avenue.

The music and movies are all sponsored by our local businesses, members of the Webster Business Improvement District. Click here for more details about all of these special events, and many more.

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New WhichCraft brewery comes to Webster/Penfield

3 Jul
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WhichCraft Brews is located in Baytowne Plaza on Empire Blvd.

There’s a new brewery in town and I think this one’s going to be really neat.

I had the opportunity to stop by the new WhichCraft Brews this afternoon, and even though it’s not open yet, owner John Moscato welcomed me inside to chat for a short time in the middle of the final-days-before-opening disarray.

WhichCraft is located in Baytowne Plaza, and it’s difficult to miss as you drive down the north side of the plaza. It’s right on the corner of that “street of shops” the plaza owners have tried to create, its bright white letters like a beacon calling everyone to gather for a pint.

Moscato co-owns the new brewery with three other family members. While none of them actually has owned a brewery before, Moscato also does own the 585 Rochester Beer store in Brockport.

Opening a brewpub wasn’t actually part of his original plan. They had originally wanted to open an “east-side bottle shop,” he said, but “it morphed into not what we really tried to do.”

What they wound up with is a 3-barrel brewery where you can also buy New York State wines, beers and spirits, plus to-go beers from all over the country.

There’s a lot to like about the new place. For starters, there are 55 taps behind the 27-foot bar. Five of them will feature WhichCraft’s own brews. The first round will include a Hefeweisen, a Scotch ale, two IPAs (a west coast and an east coast), and a stout. Future home brews, Moscato said, will be determined by what his customers want most.

For the other 50 taps, you can expect beers from all over the world, two wines, and a cold-brew nitro coffee. Plus, five to ten of them will be tapping brews from other local brewpubs like Stoneyard, Swiftwater and Empire Brewing. Moscato promises nine craft cocktails and a craft soda as well, plus plenty of non-alcoholic choices.

You hungry? No problem. There’s a food truck parked INSIDE the pub which will serve as the kitchen, and with seating for 160, there’s plenty of room in the rest of the place to accommodate diners and drinkers alike.

The food truck idea came from Moscato’s wife, whose full-time job takes her to New Hampshire and Vermont, where “you can’t go to a craft place without a beer truck” outside, Moscato said. “I thought, why not bring it inside? No one’s ever done it before.”

To continue with the stick-to-local theme, framed photographs by local artist Kevin Tubiolo will fill the walls, and many of them will be for sale.

WhichCraft will open its doors on Saturday July 8 at 10 a.m. Regular hours will be Sunday through Wednesday 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., Thursday 10 a.m. to 11 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to midnight.

Read more about them on their website here,  and “like” their Facebook page here.

Click here to read a more complete D&C article about the new WhichCraft Brews written by Will Cleveland.

 

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The Knuckleheads are kickin’ it again

30 Jun

knucklehead-logoKnucklehead Craft Brewing in West Webster is re-introducing a seasonal favorite

The Kick-It seasonal imperial IPA will be released on July 5. It gets its name from the fact that Knucklehead owners Len Dummer and George Cline will be donating proceeds from its launch to help fight cancer.

Len and George describe the brew:

We used Chinook, Columbus, and Cascade hops during the boil and dry-hopped it
with Willamette to finish at 94 IBUs. The sweet malt body is complemented by a mild hop bitterness (8.5% ABV).

The Knuckleheads first introduced their Kick It IPA back in 2015, with its proceeds benefiting the American Cancer Society. This time around, they’ll be donating $1 from each beer sold to the Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester.

Back then, Len explained their reasoning:

Both of our families have been touched by cancer as well as many, many of our customers and close friends’ families. This is simply our way of saying ‘thank you’ to our supporters and it gives them a chance to enjoy a pint while knowing their money will go to a wonderful cause.

They ended up raising $5300 for the American Cancer Society. Let’s see if we can do even better this time.

 

Knucklehead Craft Brewing is located at 426 Ridge Road in West Webster. Check out their Facebook page and website for more information.

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Webster Tuesday mailbag

27 Jun

mailbagHere are a few community notes of interest.

Webster Brownie Troop Makes Blankets for Children in Need

Webster Girl Scout Brownie troop 60392 recently made knotted fleece blankets to donate to Project Linus, which then distributes them to children who are critically ill, have been traumatized, or are experiencing another form of need.

The 11 third-graders from Plank South Elementary made this a featured part of a sleepover event. They then donated them to Project Linus through Cafe Sewciety Quilts on Empire Blvd.

Troop 60392 Blankets

Pictured in the photo (from bottom left clockwise) are Megan Kelly, Ella Ellsworth, Kate Sayers, Becca, Dolan, Gianna DeMarco, Sophia Hachee, Olivia Salafia, Ashley Huss, and Avarie Chalachan. Not pictured: Mackenzie Mihalitsas and McKenna Simmons.

Webster Marching Band Boosters Host Food Truck Rodeo

The Webster Marching Band Boosters have announced their second annual Food Truck Rodeo, scheduled for Friday July 21 from 5 to 9 pm in Webster Schroeder High School’s front parking lot.

The Marching Band Boosters sponsor various fundraising events throughout the year to help pay for the Webster Marching Band’s equipment, show productions, and competition-related trip expenses.

Eleven food trucks have already signed on for the event, including Macarollin, Tuscan Wood Fired Pizza, Rob’s Kabobs, The Meatball Truck Co., Midnight Smokin’ BBQ, Meat the Press, Le Petit Poutine, WingNutz, Abbott’s Frozen Custard, Kona Ice, and Smoothies Plus.

There will also be face painting for the kids, a visit by a West Webster Fire Department truck, and live music provided by the Aaron Rizzo Trio. Admittance to the rodeo is FREE, and all proceeds from the food trucks will benefit the Marching Band Boosters and Webster Marching Band members.

Webster Schroeder High School is located at 875 Ridge Road.

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Webster Hots has new owners

14 Jun
Mutschlers

Webster Hots’ new owners Kelly and Bill Mutschler, with their son Aidan.

Have you driven down Webster’s East Main Street lately?

Lately it’s been looking like a ghost town, with more “For Rent” signs than “Open for Business” signs in the storefront windows. Aside from the fact there’s usually a lot of good parking spaces available, there seem to be fewer reasons every day to head down there.

Bill and Kelly Mutschler, the new owners of Webster Hots, want to change that.

The Webster residents took ownership of the restaurant just a few weeks ago. For Bill, who was looking for a career change, it was the culmination of a long-time dream to open his own small business in Webster. When he and Kelly, found out that Webster Hots was for sale, they jumped on the opportunity.

Bill and Kelly decided to keep the name Webster Hots because that’s what people have come to know. But they readily admit they’re fighting against the negative reputation hots places can sometimes have of being small, and dark and catering to the young, late-night crowd who only want plates.

They want to be known for more than just plates. But don’t get them wrong. “I think our plates are really good,” Bill said, made better in that they make their hot sauce and mac salad on site. But he points out that their menu features so much more.

There are burgers and dogs, of course. But there are also plenty of sandwiches, wraps, appetizers, and even a beer-battered fish fry. Plus, they’re already planning to expand that menu, adding more options for kids, among other things.  And it’s all served in a bright, spacious environment.

Then there’s the ice cream. “The village has been missing ice cream since Hank’s left,” Bill noted, so the Mutschlers know how important it was to bring it back. They’re especially proud to have been able to contract with Purity Ice Cream, a very well-known and highly respected shop in Ithaca. (And if the sea salt caramel is any indication, it’s pretty fantastic.)

As Webster residents, Bill and Kelly are already involved with the village, but now they want to make sure that community connection also extends to their new business. They’re hoping especially to build stronger ties with the high schools, and start hanging photos of local sports teams and businesses. You can also expect to see them getting involved with village events like the Wine Walks and the Jazz Fest.

So when you walk into the new Webster Hots, you actually won’t see many differences … yet. But rest assured that now that Bill and Kelly Mutschler are at the helm, Webster Hots is stronger than ever, a great family spot for lunch or dinner, and will definitely help revitalize East Main Street.

Webster Hots is located at 55 East Main Street in the village of Webster. Connect with them on Facebook and call (585) 265-0824. 

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insideWH storefront