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The Knuckleheads celebrate another anniversary

16 Dec

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The Knuckleheads are having a birthday party, and the entire beer-loving public is invited.

Knucklehead Craft Brewing turns three years old this month, and they’re planning an appropriate celebration, complete with a special brew, treats from their kitchen and live music.

The party takes place on Saturday December 23 from 3 p.m. till midnight. There’ll be a special food menu, featuring house-roasted sirloin on fresh kimmelweck rolls topped with horseradish aioli. Live music will be provided by Marty Roberts and Donny C. from 7:30 till 11:30 p.m.

Knucklehead’s award-winning Tainted Haze IPA will be on tap, and one of the pub’s most decadent beers will make its annual return for the party: their Russian Imperial Stout.

Webster’s own craft brewery has grown up a lot since it opened in 2014. They updated their kitchen and expanded their menu, added lots of great merchandise, more equipment to streamline their brewing process, more staff, and regular live music.

Check it all out for yourself at Knucklehead Craft Brewing’s third year anniversary party, Saturday December 23 from 3 p.m. to midnight, and wish the Knuckleheads a happy birthday!

Knucklehead Craft Brewing is located at 426 Ridge Road, at the corner of Bay. Check out their webpage here at and their Facebook page here. They’re open Wednesday and Thursday 4 to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday 3 to 11 pm, and Sunday 2 to 7 p.m., and the kitchen is open every day.

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Local karate school hits the ice with the Amerks

14 Dec

 

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Matsunami karate students Cristine Norton, RJ Barnard, Ryan Moorman, Pepper Parrinello,  and Rick Parrinello

Well, that headline  might be a bit misleading.

What actually happened, Monday night, is that a handful of students from Matsumani Karate in Webster performed a short demonstration of skills during the second intermission of the Amerks hockey game.

The demo took place right at center ice, on a large rug rolled out by the Amerks grounds-keepers (ice-keepers?). Matsunami co-owner Rick Parinello began the demo with a kata (form), and then for the next several minutes, played the part of a bully and allowed 10-year old purple belt RJ Barnard throw him to the ground several times.

Pretty hard, too. I’m sure Rick appreciated having the carpet.

Three other Matsunami representatives watched from the edge of the mat while the action took place.

It was a short but very impressive demonstration, judging from the loud applause from  the crowd when it was done.

In addition to these photos, you can access a video of the “bully” part of the demonstration by clicking here.  (At least I’m pretty sure you’ll be able to access it.)

(Full disclosure: this is the school where I teach.)

 

 

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News from the Village Band and Filling Station

13 Dec

Just a few quick notes on this very snowy and cold this morning.

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The Webster Village Band hosted its 50th annual holiday concert at Webster Thomas High School on Saturday, capping off another wonderful season of music for our dedicated village musicians.

In the photo, band director Tom Indiano stands with associate director Sue Siegmund (L) and manager Marcia Naukum (R), each with 45 years of dedicated service. Missing from this photo are Mary Crockett and Ralph Zimmer, who both have 50 years of continuing service.  Congratulations to all!

Band rehearsals for next season resume in March. The  band meets on Thursday evenings from 7-9, with venues at various Webster Central Schools per availability.

The band is always looking for more community members to join their musical family.  All interested musicians are invited to be a par of the band’s next 50 years. Interested persons may contact Harvey Cohen at hcohen@rochester.rr.com or by phone at 585-738-6980.

Update on the Filling Station

I was notified the other day that the schedule for opening the new Filling Station Pub and Grill at 77 East Main Street has been delayed a bit. They’re still hoping to get everything finished by the end of the year, but now it might not be until January.

The wait will definitely be worth it, however. Front-end manager Wendy Antes has been sending me photos of some of the installations. Here’s one of the incredibly beautiful bar.

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Stay tuned!

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The new Filling Station nears completion

9 Dec

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I have been negligent.

Back in October I wrote a teaser blog about the fact that the Filling Station Pub & Grill is moving into town from East Ridge Road into the old Burger King/Original Mac and Cheez restaurant on East Main Street. I promised a follow-up blog not long afterwards. But it has been a long-time coming.

Better late than never, let me tell you about this great new addition to the village

The Filling Station, if you’re not familiar with it, used to be located at 1839 Ridge Road, almost as far east as Wayne County. It’s long been a favorite gathering place for its casual atmosphere and extensive food and drink menus (especially the wings).

The family owned-and-operated Filling Station has been around for years, and if you’re not familiar with it, that’s probably because it was pretty much out in the middle of nowhere. In a few weeks, though, that’s going to change. By the end of this month — hopefully sometime the week of December 18, actually — the doors will officially open to the new Filling Station at 77 East Main Street in the village of Webster.

Back in October, I spoke with front-end manager Wendy Antes, who told me that one of the main reasons for the move was so they could expand.

“It’s 1200 square feet bigger,” she said. “We’re going to be able to offer more booth seating, which people have been asking for. There will be one booth, actually, that fits 12 to 15 people.”

The new location will offer about 30 more seats than the current pub has, and doubles the bar seating. All in all, that means seating for about 120 people.

Finding the right place in Webster was also a big goal.

“We grew up in Webster,” Wendy said. “I’ve lived in Webster my whole life. We wanted to expand but still stay small. We looked at a lot of different spaces, including one other place in Webster and a few east of town.”

But when she and her brother Alan saw the old Burger King, they knew it was perfect. “It was like, we could envision everything. We could envision exactly where we wanted to put everything.”

When it’s finally open, the new restaurant will sport a beautiful L-shaped bar, with 20 taps — eight more than they have now — dispensing local and regional craft brews. The kids will enjoy an old fashioned game room, and their own “kids eat free” night. The decor will still favor New York sports teams, and a lot of the memorabilia will be moving with them to the new location. And there will still be a lot of TVs so diners can enjoy anything from weather reports to sports to newscasts.

Most importantly, though, the Filling Station’s menu will be coming to the new place as well.

“All of our wonderful specials will follow from the other Filling Station to this Filling Station,” Wendy promised. “The menu will stay the same, and we’ll have a lot of new specials on top of our regular menu.”   

And they’re already looking to the future. Eventually they hope to add a deck in front for outdoor seating, and another small deck out back. Perhaps next winter there might even be an enclosed area where the drive through is, complete with fireplaces.  

There’s still quite a bit of work to be done, but the week of December 18th still seems like a reasonable goal. (Right now both places are closed; the last day at the old restaurant was November 29.) You can keep tabs on the progress on the Filling Station website and Facebook page. In the meantime, take a look at some of these photos, which Wendy was kind enough to send along. 

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Webster sparkled for White Christmas in the Village

3 Dec
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The Electric Parade, photo courtesy Sarah Rosenberry

For, like, the third year in a row, there wasn’t much “white” about Webster’s White Christmas in the Village celebration on Saturday.  Temperatures were unseasonably warm, so the village’s beautiful new streetlight decorations were the only snowflakes anyone saw that afternoon and evening.

However, things did look very Christmas-y. The shop windows were all decorated and sparkling, carolers strolled the streets singing holiday favorites, and hundreds of people took the opportunity to wear their Santa hats and reindeer antlers, and drape themselves in colored lights.

As usual for this event, things got off to slow start. But anyone who got there early got first crack at visiting with Santa at the Village Hall and taking a ride on the horse-drawn festival wagon. As dusk fell, though, Main Street started to fill with holiday cheer as thousands began to line Main Street in anticipation of the always popular Electric Parade.

There was plenty to do in the meantime. Kids enjoyed a bounce house, adults enjoyed sampling and voting in the chili cook-off (and later in the evening could get samples of Root Stock cider). The ladies of Rochester Rhapsody delighted everyone with original and classic Christmas carols. Barry’s Old School Irish was pouring free cups of hot cider and hot chocolate (and even though it was pretty warm out, they had a long line). There was cookie decorating, storytelling, and one of my favorites, the Good Shepherd Chime Bell Choir.

Basically, if you weren’t there, you missed a great time. Make sure to put it on your calendar NOW for next year.

The lighting was tough, but I tried my best to get a nice bunch of pictures. Click here to see the whole gallery.

And thank you to the members of the Webster Business Improvement District for sponsoring this delightful event.

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Bourbon lovers, unite!

15 Nov

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Wine lovers have had their day — OK, lots of them — with the Webster Wine Walks. Now bourbon lovers are getting their turn.

The Webster Business Improvement District BID) and Webster Wine and Spirits will host a Bourbon Bash this coming Saturday November 18 from 6-9 p.m. at the Harmony House on East Main Street.

This is Webster’s very first Bourbon Bash for Webster, and it’s shaping up to be a really neat event.

Organizers have invited many local and well-known bourbon vendors to set up in the Harmony House for tastings. Several local restaurants will also be on hand to complement the bourbons, including Pub 235, The Coach, Gioia Mia Catering, Webster Hots, Smoking Hot Chicks, The Village Bakery and Brimont Bistro.

BBQ Blues Band will provide entertainment as attendees sample great bourbons from distilleries including Heaven Hill, Black Button, Elijah Craig, Iron Smoke Whiskey, Honeoye Falls Distillery, Jim Beam, and more.

Tickets are $20, available at the BID website and Hegedorn’s Market 964 Ridge Road.

Proceeds from the event will go to the Challenger Miracle Field to help finish the local field for challenged athletes.

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Memories of Barry’s on the occasion of the pub’s 6th anniversary

10 Nov
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Danny and Jessica Barry, the new owners of Barry’s Old School Irish, two days before the pub’s soft opening in September, 2011.

It’s no secret that Barry’s Old School Irish, in Webster village, is one of my favorite places in the world. From the day I first walked through the door and met baby-faced Danny and his even younger wife (Jessica wasn’t even 21 yet), I knew the place was going to be special.

Turns out, I was right. Thanks to the simple passion these two young people have for creating a truly family-oriented, traditional Irish pub, Barry’s has become a cornerstone in the village of Webster’s social scene for people who come for the friendly welcomes, excellent food, Barry’s Runners, perfectly poured pints, weekend live music, Irish whiskies, outdoor patio, Irish music sessions, folk music sessions, euchre, Notre Dame football, trivia, book club, Boondock Saints, St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, New Year’s Eve parties, Wren Day parties, and so much more.

Tomorrow — Saturday, November 11 — Barry’s Old School Irish , 2 West Main Street in Webster, will turn six years old. In those years, I’ve tried several times to explain here just what makes it so special. What makes it different from other “Irish” pubs. Rather than try to do so again, I thought I’d re-post a few blogs I wrote in honor of previous anniversaries, which kinds of sum things up rather well.

If you’ve known the pub for a while, they should make for some interesting reading and bring back some nice memories.

This first one was for their first anniversary, posted on October 27, 2012.

This evening, Barry’s Old School Irish Pub and Bakery on Webster’s 4-corners will celebrate its one-year anniversary. In anticipation of that happy event, I sat at my computer last night, poised to craft the perfect blog about what has become my very favorite Webster hangout.

Fingers at the ready, I started to think. What exactly IS it about Barry’s that makes the place so special? The beer? The to-die-for Guinness chocolate cake? The live music? There are just so many things about Barry’s that make it a pleasant place to be. But what is it that makes Barry’s unique?

It took me a little while, but finally it dawned on me. I realized why I go back there every Friday night. And some Saturdays and Wednesdays. And the occasional Sunday afternoon. It’s Mary Jane, Mike and Patrick. Tim, Jerry and Robyn. Debbie, Sarah, Chris and Julie. Kim, Mac and Maura, Brendan and Gordon. These are the people of Barry’s, and every single one of them has become part of my extended family.

Funny thing about these extended family members, though, is that I couldn’t tell your most of their last names. Plus, I didn’t know ANY of them a year ago. But thanks to Barry’s, I’m now closer to these people than to most of my “regular” extended family members.

You see, any Irish pub can serve a Guinness. Any restaurant/bakery can serve up great dinners and desserts. But there aren’t many places where you can walk in and immediately feel like family.

But that’s the way it is at Barry’s. The feeling in this little place is just … different. It’s like everyone there is only a stranger because you haven’t met them yet — but by the end of the night you probably will. I’ve heard people refer to it as a “family bar,” which is a really weird phrase, but sums up the atmosphere perfectly. Just like the pubs in ol’ Ireland, Barry’s Old school Irish has become a community gathering place, in the mornings for coffee, scones or breakfast buffet (bring the kids!), lunchtime for some incredible Shepherd’s Pie, and evening for a pint and some live music. …

Oh, yeah, totally forgot to mention the momma and papa of this extended family of mine. Danny and Jessica Barry own this little slice of Ireland in the middle of the village. If you ask me, when they moved in and transformed what used to be a very ugly and embarrassing “Living Waters” property, they transformed the village of Webster as well. I am blessed to be able to call them friends. Tonight I will not be toasting their success as much as thanking them for being a part of our lives.

And this one, posted November 12, 2015.

Believe it or not, sometimes I am at a complete loss for words.

That’s been the case these last few days as I’ve been pondering what to say about Barry’s Old School Irish. You see, my favorite Irish pub is turning four years old this weekend. And as I think about how far Barry’s has come in those years, so many great memories try to elbow in for my attention that it’s tough organizing them all.

So I decided to go back to the beginning.

I still clearly remember the first time I walked into Barry’s. Like most Webster residents, I’d been keeping a close eye on the building at the corner of Main and South Ave., pleased to see the old plumbing shop getting cleaned up, and wondering exactly what an “Irish pub and bakery” would look like.

On a Thursday afternoon in September, two days before Barry’s was to officially open, I stopped in to check out the new place, and met Danny and Jessica Barry for the first time.

They struck me right away as very friendly, very enthusiastic and very young. They talked to me of their passion, how they wanted to model their new pub after the public houses (a.k.a. “pubs”) they had frequented in Ireland on their honeymoon just months before. The walls were bare, the taps hadn’t been installed yet, and they had little more than coffee to sell in the bakery. Yet they envisioned that their little corner pub would someday become a genuine community gathering place.

It didn’t take long for Danny and Jessica to realize that dream, and they continue to live it every day, by nurturing the kind of atmosphere that makes Barry’s unlike any other place in the world.

It’s a place where pretty much every patron is welcomed by name, with a smile and a wave; where the owners KNOW if it’s your first time, and make a point to introduce themselves; where young couples get engaged and older couples celebrate their anniversaries; where patrons will clear space at their table on busy nights and pull up an extra stool for a stranger, and new friends are made over pick-up games of euchre; where there’s an actual COUCH in the bar for people to curl up in with their pints, and on New Year’s Eve, the pub crowd cheers each time a new patron comes in; where the owner will order-in pizza at 1 am for the handful of remaining patrons, rather than kicking them out for the night; where celebrating Irish heritage through music, dance and literature is an opportunity, not a gimmick; where the entire pub will toast to birthdays, special events, happy occasions, sad occasions, or just because Notre Dame is winning.

Where everyone who walks through the door is instantly part of the family.

Sure, there have been a lot of changes over the last several years, as Barry’s Old School Irish has matured. Dear old friends have moved away, and so many new friends have discovered the pub that it’s hard to find a place to sit on many nights. The food and drink menus have expanded, and the walls are now crammed with photos, knick knacks and memorabilia. Danny and Jessica have welcomed two beautiful daughters, Maley and Rory, and are now expecting their first son.

But one great truth has remained constant. It’s all about the people.

“One thing that Jess and I have stayed with since we’ve opened is that the people that come in here come first,” Danny Barry said. “We take pride in everything we do, whether it be food or drinks or the events that we’re lucky enough to host, but everything is second to the people that fill these walls. The memories that we get to create together, the moments that happen in here, happy and sad, those are all because of the people that fill these walls.”

On Saturday, November 11, Danny and Jessica Barry will celebrate their little pub’s sixth anniversary. Anyone who has ever walked through its doors, and therefore has immediately become pub family, is encouraged to attend and raise a pint in honor of the occasion. Be sure to wear GREEN — Dan and Jess want to make the evening a GREEN-OUT.

Click here for more details about the upcomoing festivities, but you can expect:

• Live Irish Music by Barry’s Crossing from 7:30-11 p.m. (You may remember this was the very first band to play at Barry’s, back before they were even a band and Danny billed them as “Irish musicians.” They ultimately named their band after Barry’s and  have played every anniversary party since.)

• Irish Whiskey toast on the house @ 9:45 p.m.

• Irish dancers and Jack the Piper

If you’ve read this far, you might also be interested in reading the very first blog I wrote about Barry’s.

I leave you with a few more memories from the pub’s six years:

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Photos from Webster’s Trick or Treat Trail (LOTS of them)

28 Oct

The 2017 edition of Webster’s Trick or Treat Trail is in the books, and despite the cold rain that moved in toward the end of the event, I think the village can consider it another success.

Hundreds of kids, their parents and grandparents filled the sidewalks, popping into business after business to collect candy. A big thank you to the village for closing East and West Main streets, making the whole day a lot safer for everyone. (And an even bigger thank you to Webster’s Special Police for manning the North Ave/Main Street intersection all day.)

The Webster Volunteer Fire Department’s open house was also mobbed most of the afternoon as kids enjoyed refreshments, free fire hats and balloons, and explored several different emergency vehicles. The Webster Museum also had a lot of traffic, as visitors were encouraged to take part in a scavenger hunt.

I took more than 200 photos. The best of them are in a Facebook gallery which you can access here.

It was a fun day for everyone, and I’m already looking forward to next year.

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Autumn fun in the village for kids AND adults

26 Oct

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It looks like the weather is going to be a little spotty this weekend, but it should stay nice enough for the kids to enjoy the village’s Trick or Treat Trail this Saturday.

The fun starts with a costume contest in the Community Room on South Avenue. Participants are asked to gather around 11, and judging will take place at 11:30. Prizes will be awarded for individual and team costumes. Immediately afterwards, the kids can hit the streets and trick-or-treat at lots of village merchants from noon to 3 p.m. New this year: both East and West Main streets will be closed from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. for added safety.

And don’t forget to stop by the museum on Lapham Park, where the folks always have an activity for the kids, and swing by the Webster Volunteer Fire Department Open House.

This is always a fun time and a great way to meet our village merchants and learn more about their businesses.

Adults, mark your calendars for the village’s first-ever Bourbon Bash at the Harmony House on Saturday November 18.

Webster Wine and Spirits is teaming up with the Webster Business Improvement District to host this one-of-a-kind event with bourbon and food sampling. BBQ Blues band will take the stage from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. to provide a New Orleans-style blues sounds for the evening.

Space is limited so make sure you get your tickets soon. More info and the link for the tickets can be found at www.websterbid.com.

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The new Filling Station just weeks away

24 Oct
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This empty restaurant will soon be the new Filling Station Pub & Grill. 

Have you heard this exciting news from East Main Street? The Filling Station Pub & Grill will soon be moving from their current location on Ridge Road (near County Line) to the old Burger King/Original Mac and Cheez restaurant.

I spoke with the restaurant’s front-end manager Wendy Antes a short time ago, who didn’t give me a lot of details yet, but I do know they hope to open by the end of November. In the meantime, work is proceeding apace. It doesn’t look like much right now, but when it’s done it’s going to be a very popular addition to our village.

Stay tuned for a more complete blog about this exciting development.

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It doesn’t look like much yet, but workers are in there pretty much every day transforming the space.