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The Knuckleheads celebrate another anniversary

16 Dec

knucklehead-logo
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.

flights

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Blood drives will honor Jack Heiligman

15 Dec

posterTwo blood drives coming up next week in our area are being held in memory of 3-year old Jack Heiligman.

Jack, you may remember, lost his life in a tragic accident in 2016.  Since that awful day, Jack’s parents Anne and AJ have worked hard to keep their son’s happy spirit alive by spreading laughter, happiness and love to other families, and encouraging others to pay it forward.

They work through the JACK Foundation, an organization they created, dedicated to giving back to the community through acts of kindness. The foundation also raises money to build dinosaur-themed playgrounds. Their first playground, Jack’s Place, opened at Rothfuss Park in Penfield last August 2017.

This holiday season, one of the ways the JACK Foundation is giving back to the community and promoting acts of kindness is by hosting two blood drives in Jack’s memory. These will be held on Thursday, December 21 at Kent Park Arboretum in Webster and Friday, December 22 at the Penfield Community Center.

“The JACK Foundation has really helped keep Jack’s memory alive for our family and friends,” Anne said. “We miss our Jack every moment of every day, but being a part of caring and kind acts in Jack’s name has helped bring us peace and comfort. We hope we are making our Angel Jack proud.”

The two drives are especially significant at this time of year, near the holidays, when blood and platelet donations often decline due to everyone’s busy schedules. Here are the details:

Thursday, December 21, 2-7 p.m.
Kent Park Arboretum
1700 Schlegel Rd., Webster

Friday, December 22, 2-7 p.m.
Penfield Community Center
1985 Baird Rd., Penfield

As a thank you for showing your support for these special blood drives, all presenting donors will receive a Red Cross long-sleeved t-shirt, while supplies last.

Appointments are appreciated and will help you get in and out faster, but walk-ins are also welcome. To make an appointment, log onto redcrossblood.org or download the blood donor app. Please use sponsor code JACKFOUNDATIONWEBSTERPENFIELD.

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Welcome back, Town Hall!

8 Dec

town hall

Town Hall is back, and it’s looking beautiful.

Last weekend, the Big Move took place, when everyone and everything from Town Hall operations moved back from their temporary headquarters in the Van Ingen Building, where they have been since April while Town Hall itself was being renovated.

It was long past time for the 60-year old building to get some much-needed renovations. They included removing asbestos, enlarging the restrooms, enhancing security inside the building during working hours, adding a lunch room for employees, upgrading the facilities inside the Police Department, and enlarging the building department, assessment and finance areas.

There’s still a lot to do, though. Now that all of the major work is complete, there are still some minor maintenance projects, IT work, and grounds clean-up. Plus, they have to re-hang some photos and signage.

In the meantime, though, the Town Hall is back to its regular operations and regular hours. And if you want to check out the new and improved Town Hall for yourself, mark your calendars now for the town’s open house in May (I don’t know the specific date yet, so you might want to block off the whole month).

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Tuesday Webster Mailbag

5 Dec

I’d like to start off today’s mailbag with a few events happening at the Webster Public Library.

December 2016 (2)

All this month, the library is hosting a photography exhibit, Photographers in our Midst, in the main area of the library. The exhibit will run through December 28 and feature the talent of outstanding Webster photographers.

Stop in anytime the library is open to enjoy the images that have been captured by our own neighbors.

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Harry Potter fans, take note: The Webster Public Library is planning a Hogwarts Yule Ball right at the library.

Witches, wizards and muggles are all invited to the library on Friday December 29 from 7 to 9:30 p.m. for an evening of magical fun in the Great Hall. Enjoy tasty refreshments, music and dancing. Don’t forget to wear your formal wear or finest dress robes to attend the ball, and make sure to visit Hogwart’s classrooms for fun crafts and activities!

Some of the activities include: House Badges & Personalized Hogwarts Acceptance Letters; Potions making in Potions Class; Wand making in Defense Against the Dark Arts; Spell Books in History of Magic; Golden Snitch Ornaments in Charms; Music and Dancing; Quidditch Matches; Scavenger Hunts; Costume Contest, refreshments, a photo booth and more.

Tickets are $2 per person and will be available for purchase in-person ONLY (at the Webster Public Library) through December 15. Tickets are limited, so register early. Call 585-872-7075 if you have any questions.

Ticket price covers all activities, but there will be additional items for available for purchase.

American St. Nick to Visit the Webster Museum

On Saturday December 9 at 2 p.m., Richard Brookins will visit the Webster Museum during the museum’s open house, to share a story of kindness from WWII.

It was December 1944 in Wiltz, Luxembourg during WWII, Brookins was assigned to the small town of Wiltz for a brief respite. The town had recently been liberated by Allied forces after four long years of German occupation.

It didn’t take long before Corporal Harry Stutz discovered that the children of Wiltz had not been allowed to celebrate St. Nicholas Day during the occupation. Over the next few days the American soldiers organized a party, complete with a St. Nicklaus — Pittsford (and former Webster) resident Richard Brookins.

The story does not end there, despite the town being overrun only days later. You can hear the very happy ending at Brookins’ presentation on December 9 at 2 p.m. at the Webster Museum, 18 Lapham Park. Admission is free.

TheAmericanStNick with angels dec 5 1944

photo courtesy WWII Foundation

Santa and Pancakes

The First Baptist Church of Penfield’s next Flapjack Saturday Community Fundraiser is going to be so much fun that Santa will be joining you!

On Saturday December 16 from 8 to 10 a.m., enjoy pancakes, pure maple syrup, scrambled eggs, sausage — and a visit with Santa — all for just $5.00 per person.

December proceeds will go directly to help support Cameron Community Ministries.  Their mission is to provide hope to our community through emergency services, engagement, education and empowerment, offering after-school and summer programs, meals, an emergency pantry, and a clothing house.

The First Baptist Church of Penfield is located at 1862 Penfield Rd. 585-586-2876

Webster Central Schools to run early dismissal drill

On Friday December 22 — the last day before the holiday break — all WCSD students will be dismissed early as part of the district’s annual emergency preparedness early release drill.

The drill is a yearly requirement designed to test the district’s plan for the early dismissal of students.

Parents need to be prepared for their students to be dismissed early and arrive home by bus early on December 22. Please note the times listed below are the dismissal time (in parenthesis) and the bus departure time, and are effective for Friday, December 22 ONLY.

  • Webster Schroeder and Thomas high schools: (2:10) 2:20
  • Spry Middle School: (2:15) 2:25
  • Willink Middle School: (2:25) 2:35
  • Dewitt Road, State Road, Plank North, Schlegel Road and Klem South elementary schools:  (3:15) 3:25
  • Klem North and Plank South elementary schools: (3:05) 3:15

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Town Hall renovations are done!

26 Nov

town hall

I received some very good news from the folks at Town Hall a few days ago: the renovations are done and all Town Hall operations will be be moving back into the building on Monday, December 4.

In preparation for the move, the temporary Town Hall (in the Van Ingen building) will be closed on Thursday, November 30 and Friday, December 1.

The Town Hall building has been closed since April as much-needed renovations were completed. The renovations included enlarging the restrooms, enhancing security inside the building during working hours, adding a lunch room for employees, upgrading the facilities inside the police department, enlarging the building department, assessment and finance areas, upgrading the interior of the building, and taking out the asbestos left in the building.

The Webster Justice Courts and the Webster Police Department will remain open to the public during the moving process.

The newly renovated Town Hall will be open for business on Monday, December 4 for regular business hours.

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Webster Saturday Mailbag

25 Nov

mailbagThe Penfield Public Library is looking for a few enthusiastic people.

The library is looking for two new members for its Board of Trustees to replace outgoing trustees whose terms have expired.

The nine board members must be strong library advocates. Board members support the library by crafting a strategic plan and vision in conjunction with library personnel, by developing and reviewing policies, by reviewing and approving the budget and financial matters, and by communicating with the community and local legislators.

The Board of Trustees meets regularly at 7 pm on the third Tuesday of each month in the Ruth Braman Room of the Penfield Public Library. Meetings usually end by 9 pm and are open to the public.

Any resident of the Town of Penfield interested in applying for the Penfield Public Library Board of Trustees should submit a letter of interest and a resume to Chris Fluit,
Personnel Committee Chairman, Penfield Public Library, 1985 Baird Rd, Penfield, NY, 14526. Applications should be received by November 30, 2017. Interviews will be scheduled for early December and the new trustees should begin their term in January 2018.

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A group of 15 Webster Schroeder High School upperclassmen shared the fruits of their fundraising efforts with Rochester families in need through a unique partnership with Mt. Hope Family Center (MHFC).

Last Monday, several MHFC vehicles arrived at Webster Schroeder’s main office, 875 Ridge Road, to pick up boxes and bags with all the fixings for Thanksgiving meals that will be provided to at-risk children and families supported by MHFC. The groceries were purchased by Webster Schroeder students who began fundraising for these Thanksgiving meals last month.

This is the sixth year students have partnered with MHFC to raise funds to supply Thanksgiving meals for those served by the organization. What makes the students’ fundraising efforts so unique is that they personally reached out to other Webster Schroeder High School clubs, sports teams, organizations, faculty, staff, and Webster businesses to raise $3,500 for the Thanksgiving meals. Extra funds raised will provide holiday gifts for children from each of the 20 families that receive a basket.

Schroeder students with Thanksgiving donation - Photo 1

15 Webster Schroeder High School juniors and seniors collected $3500 to provide Thanksgiving meals to families served by the Mt. Hope Family Center.

The Country Gardeners of Webster, Klem Road Garden Club and the Webster Arboretum will hold their annual Garden Club Holiday Sale on Saturday December 2 from 9 am to noon at the Webster Recreation Center, 1350 Chiyoda Drive.

This huge sale features fresh wreaths, arrangements, poinsettias, centerpieces and gifts that are created by hand by the club members for this sale.

This is always a very popular event, so you want to get there early. I stopped by at about 11:30 last year and pretty much everything was sold out.

The sale is the Country Gardeners’ annual fundraiser, so think about decorating your own home, and purchasing gifts for family, friends and holiday hostesses.

Admission is free.

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Santa Claus is coming to town

21 Nov

santaSanta obviously knows there are a lot of good little boys and girls in Webster, because he’s making our town his first stop this holiday season.

Webster’s very own Santa Claus will be spreading Christmas joy (and collecting food for the Salvation Army) on December 1 between 6 and 8 pm. at St. Martin Lutheran Church, 813 Bay Road.

This is a great opportunity to get that coveted photo with Santa without standing long lines at the mall. Bring your own camera if you’d like, but St. Martin tells me they will have a professional photo shoot set-up, complete with “a large whimsical Santa Chair, an elegant Christmas photo backdrop, everything you need to help make your Christmas photos memorable.”

Plus Santa, of course.

The kids can also have some fun with cookie decorating and board games, and can write their very own “Letter to Santa” which can be handed directly to him or deposited in his North Pole mailbox. There will be refreshments, carol singing at the piano, and later in the afternoon, Santa will read a few Christmas stories to the children.

The event is free and open to everyone.

If you come, please bring some non-perishable food items for the Salvation Army. At this time of year stuffing, gravies, boxed mashed potatoes and canned vegetables are especially appreciated. 

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CaptureIf you can’t make it on December 1, here’s your next chance to catch Santa before he gets really busy.

The Webster Lions Club will host their annual FREE Pancake Breakfast with Santa on Sunday, December 3 at the Webster East Golf Club, 440 Salt Road.

Breakfast will be served from 8:00 am until noon, and Santa will definitely be there to visit with the children. There will also be raffles, holiday prizes, gift certificates, and free vision screening for children 8 and under.

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Village Band schedules annual holiday concert

17 Nov

image

The Webster Village Band will celebrate its 50th Anniversary Holiday Concert on Saturday, December 9 at 11:00 a.m. at Webster Thomas High School, 800 Five Mile Line Road in Webster.

Please  note that this is a change in venue from previous years, when the concert was held at Webster Schroeder.

Director Tom Indiano and Associate Director Sue Siegmund have selected a variety of holiday music for your listening enjoyment, both familiar favorites and some with musical variations on a theme, such as Good Swing Wencelas, Adventum featuring “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” and “Ukrainian Bell Carol,” A Holiday Rhapsody and Fairytale of New York, to name a few.

Also, be sure to bring the children for the annual reading of “Twas the Night Before Christmas,” and for a special on-stage treat for these youngsters.

Admission is free, and light refreshments will follow the concert.

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Blood drive will honor Schroeder student

14 Nov

Ed. note:

I received this important message on my blog earlier today from Nancy Ryan, which I wanted to add to the blog post:

Hi Missy. I wanted you and your subscribers to know that community members will also have the opportunity to register as an organ and tissue donor at the November 25th event at Webster Schroeder in honor of Colin Montesano.

As you mentioned in your blog, Colin was a registered donor and, because of his generous spirit, was able to save and improve the lives of several people through the gift of donation. I am the Director of Marketing & Community Relations for Finger Lakes Donor Recovery Network and will be on hand to help people join the New York State Donate Life Registry, as well as answer questions about organ and tissue donation.

And now, the blog itself:

You probably know by now that I’m a huge supporter of Red Cross blood drives. Well, I wanted to especially tell you about one coming up in a few weeks, which is important for two reasons.

colinFirst, this special blood drive, scheduled for Saturday November 25 at Webster Schroeder High School, is being held in memory of Webster graduate Colin Montesano, who passed away last April at just 21 years old.

After graduating from Schroeder, Colin enrolled in the biology program at the University of Pittsburgh. He had wanted to dedicate his life to helping others by becoming a physician. Following his death, Colin received a bachelor’s degree in Biology, Summa Cum Laude, when the University of Pittsburgh determined he had completed the credits necessary in his three years of enrollment to earn the degree.

Colin was an active community volunteer. He volunteered at a hospice facility in Webster, and at a children’s hospital in Pittsburgh. He was a co-founder of Pittsburgh Attacks Cancer Together (PACT), a fundraising organization for cancer research. He was also a talented athlete, whose accomplishments include being on the Webster Schroeder High School ice hockey team that won the NYSPHSAA Division II championship in 2014.

After his death, Colin continued to help others by being an organ and tissue donor.

Colin’s family is hosting this blood drive to continue Colin’s legacy of helping others. “Colin was a very giving person,” said Tracy Montesano, Colin’s mother. “Hosting a blood drive is a way to keep his memory alive and give hope to other patients who need blood.”

“We hope that everyone who can donate blood, rolls up a sleeve and gives blood in Colin’s memory, especially his coaches, teachers, friends, and those who played sports with our son,” added Mike Montesano, Colin’s father.

Blood Drive in Memory of Colin Montesano
Saturday, November 25, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Webster Schroeder High School
875 Ridge Road, Webster

Walk-ins are welcome, but appointments are encouraged.
To make an appointment to donate, visit redcrossblood.org or call
1-800-REDCROSS. Use sponsor code websterschroederhighschoolwebster.

Aside from this being a great thing to do in Colin’s memory, this is also a critical time of year for blood donations. Donations decline significantly from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day as people get busy with holiday activities, so the Red Cross really needs your help.

It only takes about an hour of your day and would help lots of people. Just like Colin would want to do if he were here.

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

10 Nov
main photo

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:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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