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November 24, 2015 - 3:49pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Larry's Steakhouse, batavia, business, downtown.


There's been too much bad in the world recently, so Brenden Mullen, co-owner of Larry's Steakhouse, on Main Street, Batavia, decided he wanted to do something good.

Larry's will be open from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., Thanksgiving Day, serving free meals to "anybody and everybody" who wants to stop in.

The meals will include turkey, mash potatoes and gravy, stuffing, squash and cranberry sauce along with a slice of pumpkin pie.

All for free.

"Somebody very dear to me, touched my life, had a positive impact and made me want to better myself in any way I can," Mullen said. "I thought it might be a step in the right direction."

Word has spread quickly on social media, Mullen said, and just today he got a touching call from an administrator at Batavia HS who said a student who had been wondering what he would do on Thanksgiving, with no place else to go, heard about the community meal and now he plans on being at Larry's.

That really touched Mullen, he said.  It's hard to believe in this day and age a high school student would need some place to go on Thanksgiving Day, but there are people in our community with all kinds of needs, he said, and perhaps his gesture will help a few people out.

He just came up with the idea Saturday, enlisted the chef to help, and started getting things organized. He doesn't know what to expect and said additional volunteers to help are welcome.

"I thought it would be a good way to do something good for the community," Mullen said. "Like I said, I just get sick of reading the news, turning on the TV, and it's nothing but bad news anymore, so I wanted to give people a reason to smile and feel good about something."

November 20, 2015 - 4:35pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Foxprowl, Foxprowl-Con, conventions, Clarion, batavia, business.


The Clarion Hotel in Batavia will be filled this weekend with superheroes, space aliens, monsters and robots, all gathering to partake in Foxprowl-Con, the first local comic and collectables convention.

Bill Hume, owner of Foxprowl Collectables on Ellicott Street, is the lead organizer of the event, which he said could draw from 2,000 to 4,000 guests from all over the region.

The convention will feature more than 100 vendors and several celebrities from the world of comics and sci-fi/horror entertainment, including Mark Dodson, from Star Wars and Gremlins, Kevin Duhaney and Jeff Parazzo, from Power Rangers, Adam Minarovich from the Walking Dead, Steve Cardenas, from Power Rangers, and Tyler Green and Rashaad Santiago, from FaceOff, among others.

These photos are from this afternoon while vendors were setting up. The convention opens this evening and continues Saturday and Sunday. For more information, visit





November 20, 2015 - 11:33am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Dunkin' Donuts, batavia, business, Redfield Parkway, land use.

It took the city's Zoning Board of Appeals more than 45 minutes Thursday to make motions, collect seconds and tally votes on five variances that clear the way for a new Dunkin' Donuts franchise on West Main Street, across from Redfield Parkway.

After a presentation by the project's engineer Kip Finley and comments from members of the public, all Redfield Parkway residents opposed to the project, it came time for the ZBA board to vote on the variance requests for parking, driveways, building placement and height.

Minutes would pass before a motion would be made, then a long pause before a second, and when the question was called, the votes came slow.

All of the variances were approved, but as Chairman Jeff Gillard confirmed later, the board wasn't really thrilled to be the final hurdle the developers need to clear to be able to proceed with the project.

"You can't go by emotion," Gillard said. "You've got to follow the law."

With no legal reason not to approve the variance requests, the board didn't have much recourse, even if they are sympathetic with the concerns of Redfield Parkway residents over potential traffic congestion in the area.

The traffic issues are not part of the ZBA's legal authority to consider.

On the fifth and final variance, allowing a 14-foot wide driveway to access the property from West Main, Board Member Emma Kate Morrill-Mahoney struggled with her vote. She's expressed concern that the angle still wouldn't prevent cars from trying to use it as an exit. The zoning code calls for a 20-foot wide driveway, but that width would probably make it even more likely that patrons would use it for an exit, causing traffic issues. So if Morrill-Mahoney voted no, causing disapproval of the variance on a tie vote, the driveway would have to be 20-foot. When she realized her vote would potentially only make matters worse, she decided to vote yes.  

The Redfield Parkway residents who spoke uniformly raised concerns about traffic congestion.

"What does Dunkin’ Donuts have against the better neighborhoods in Batavia?" asked Donald Fryling. "First they build at the end of Ellicott Avenue, now they want to build at Redfield. What’s next, a donut shop on Naramore Drive?"

A Dunkin' Donuts at this location, between Barrett's Marine & Sporting Supplies and Five Star Bank, was first proposed a year ago and that proposal was rejected by city planners. Finley met with city staff and fashioned a new proposal to address the concerns of the city and the residents. The building will be Cape Cod style in design to better match the homes in the area; it's frontage will align with Barrett's to be a little more urban and less suburban sprawl in feel; and the driveways will be narrower to better channel traffic in the directions that least hinder the flow of traffic.

All of these changes necessitated approvals for variances from the ZBA, and since they were good faith efforts by the developer to address concerns, the ZBA couldn't just arbitrarily reject them. 

Among the questions raised through the planning process is why Dunkin' Donuts in this location? Why not another location?

Franchisee Mike Mikolajczyk said it's simple, this location makes the most business sense.

"It's absolutely the best location we could have in the city," Mikolajczyk said.

There have been marketing studies and traffic flow studies and all of the data singles out this location as the best one currently available among all other options.

"It's a great intersection, a great area, that's why everybody wants to be there and that's why it's busy, and that's where Dunkin' goes, a busy area," Mikolajczyk said.

Finley said the next step in the process is completing the architectural drawings and completing the purchase of the property.  The earliest the new shop could be open is prior to Christmas 2016.

Since a donut shop isn't a destination type of business, but a business that captures existing traffic, it's important to be where the traffic is, Mikolajczyk explained, and since it's not a destination, it won't add to traffic congestion, as some neighbors fear.

"I've visited with people in the neighborhood and they all have my phone number," Mikolajczyk said. "I don't' want to be a bad neighbor. I don't want to have people hate me before I even get in there, so I'm doing my best to be a good neighor and be a good businessman and asset to the neighborhood."

One reason the location is important to Mikolajczyk is that his current location -- on the corner of Ellicott Avenue and West Main -- does a great job of capturing eastbound traffic. It doesn't capture a lot of westbound traffic, and the new location will do that, he said.

Asked why this location instead of something on East Main, and Mikolajczyk kind of smiled. That may be coming, too, he said.

November 18, 2015 - 7:43pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Dunkin' Donuts, batavia, business, land use.

The process of getting approval for a new Dunkin' Donut's has served to make for a better plan, project engineer Kip Finley told city planners during Tuesday's meetings, where planners eventually approved or recommended approval of a series of plans and variances allowing the project to go forward. 

The proposed Dunkin will be slipped in between Barrett's Batavia Marine and Five Star Bank on West Main Street, with the cooperation and blessing of those two property owners. The three properties will share driveways in and out of the location, helping traffic flow and thereby addressing one of the recurring objections to construction of the franchise store.

Finley, working on behalf of Dunkin' Donuts and franchisee Mike Mikolajczyk, who owns the current Dunkin' in the city, at West Main and Ellicott Avenue, has been hauling elevation drawings before city and county planners since September 2014, and until Tuesday's votes hadn't received much in the way of nods of approval.

The new design fits into the current environment better, Finley said.  The building will be a little more residential looking and the frontage will align with Barrett's, making it more of an urban approach to aligning storefronts.

Even so, there are still residents from nearby Redfield Parkway who object to the proposed location.

"Regardless of how good the aesthetics of the building, none of the design changes will improve its location," said Nan Zorn, a Redfield resident.

The planning committee approved the site plan review and recommend to the Zoning Board of Appeals that it approve variances for the frontage, the driveways and parking.

By code, the size of the building would require 80 parking spaces, which board members agreed was a bit much.

The Burger King on West Main has 80 spaces and Finley pointed out that is way more than the drive-thru restaurant needs.

"If you go there, the front third are used, and the rest you could play basketball on," Finley said.
"There are weeds growing. It doesn't get used."

Finley's work is not done. Dunkin's new location doesn't get built if the city's ZBA doesn't approve the variances.

November 18, 2015 - 1:45pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, BID, Shop Small Saturday.

Press release:

The Batavia Business Improvement District (BID) is a neighborhood champion for Small Business Saturday, also known as “Shop Small Saturday.”

Shop Small has become a national movement along the lineup of Black Friday & Cyber Monday. This year’s Shop Small event is Saturday, Nov. 28th, and will take place all over the country. The Batavia BID distributed promotional materials for the event to its downtown retail and restaurant businesses and encouraged them to do their own form of promotion as well. The nonprofit organization also invited local business owners, residents, and politicians with postcards to come to specific places to encourage the understanding that downtown Batavia has great places to shop, dine, live and play.
The Batavia BID intends to take pictures on Shop Small Saturday and encourages those that shop small that day to share them with the Batavia BID. You can post on the Downtown Batavia Business Improvement District Facebook page or contact Laurie Oltramari at (585) 344-0900 or e-mail [email protected] to share pictures or to ask questions about the event.
Please join the movement to support your local economy by shopping small not only on Small Business Saturday, but each Saturday!

November 18, 2015 - 9:42am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Oliver's Candies, batavia, business, code enforcement.

Jeremy Liles said he will continue to push for a rules change in the City of Batavia on commercial signs that prohibit electronic signs from regularly changing their messages.

Earlier this year, Liles installed a new sign on his business, Oliver's Candies, at Main and Oak with an electronic message board.

Under the current city ordinance, he can only change the message on the board once every 24 hours. He would like to change it hourly, especially this time of year when he might have four or five different promotions going to attract holiday business.

Tuesday night the city's planning board unanimously rejected his request for a variance to allow the message to change at least hourly.

Duane Preston, chairman of the board, said his vote was based on the fact there is no precedent in the city for allowing an exemption.

Liles argued that signs at Salvation Army and Batavia High School change more often than every 24 hours, but Preston said the city's code enforcement officers report that no permission has been granted for such changes where the city has jurisdiction. He doesn't have jurisdiction over the school property, he said.

Liles said the inconsistency bothers him.

He vowed to continue the fight after the vote, including bringing it up during the city's comprehensive plan update.

One apparent argument against frequently changing signs is that it creates a traffic hazard. Liles said he doesn't buy that argument. Distracted driving from mobile phones is a bigger problem than business signs, he said.

"There were two accidents in front of Oliver's this morning and that had nothing to do with my sign," he said.

November 17, 2015 - 1:34pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Genesee ARC, batavia, business.


Press release:

The Genesee ARC Redemption Center is open for business!  “Bring us your cans and bottles,” said Director of Operations, Paul Saskowski.

Along with offering new employment options for individuals with disabilities, Saskowski said, “The expansion of our transfer station allows customers to drop off refuse, recyclables and now get their deposits on beverage containers back so these chores can be done in a ‘one-stop’ concept.” 

The Genesee ARC Redemption Center, 3785 W. Main Street Road, Batavia, is open Monday through Saturday 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Wednesdays until 8 p.m.

“The hundreds of community members that visit monthly for trash and recycling now have an even greater convenience,” Saskowski said.

“The best thing about the ARC-operated redemption center is additional employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities,” the director said.  “This expansion aligns with Genesee ARC’s mission of supporting people with disabilities in partnership with their families and the community."

All NYS beverage bottles and cans are accepted at the site. Customers wishing to donate their refunds to a nonprofit can designate Volunteers for Animals, Boy Scouts of America, Crossroads House or Genesee ARC. Organizations wishing to hold a can drive can contact Paul Saskowski or Redemption Center Manager Carl Jones at 343-4203 to set it up.

Photo: Carl Jones, Redemption Center manager, with Mark and Wesley, employees of the Genesee ARC Redemption Center.

November 13, 2015 - 2:53pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, education, Announcements, CTE.

Submitted photo. Will, Penny and Bill Kennett listen as Scott Henahan, Building Trades instructor at the Batavia CTE Center, gives a brief overview of the course offerings taught explains some of the Building Trades curriculum.  

Press release:

A record turnout at the Open Houses held at both the Batavia Career and Technical Education (CTE) Center and the Charles G. May Center in Mt. Morris gave students the opportunity to learn the educational pathways to a career in the trades. During the open house, students and their families toured classrooms, and spoke with skilled trades professionals who were on hand to discuss employment opportunities.

Will Kennett, a 10th-grader from Byron-Bergen High School, visited the Batavia CTE Center Open House with his parents, Penny and Bill. They toured the center with hopes of learning more about the programs offered. Will noted that he’s looking at his options.

“I want to pursue a trade and hope to attend this center next school year,” Will said.

Penny added, “The programs here have a wide range of opportunities. You can have a successful career in the trades.”

Alex Jones is a Criminal Justice student from Batavia High School. He brought his parents, Joyce and Edward, to learn more about what their son is studying. 

“It’s really interesting to learn about court cases and how our prison system operates,” Alex said. “I plan on pursuing a career as a police officer.”

Alex’s mom Joyce also noted, “The college credits that he earns in this program are a bonus for when he enters college.”

Past, present and perspective students visited the Animal Science Program at the May Center said Jon English, Animal Science instructor. 

“We had a large number students and their families who were interested in learning more about our Animal Science program,” English said.  “So many people commented that they did not know the extent of our programs.”

The Mt. Morris and Batavia Career and Technical Education Centers are programs of the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership. The Partnership operates as a Board of Cooperative Educational Services offering shared programs and services to 22 component school districts located in Genesee, Wyoming, Livingston and Steuben counties in New York state. 

November 13, 2015 - 11:13am
posted by Howard B. Owens in p.w. minor, batavia, business.


Now you can design your own Batavia-made boots.

p.w. minor announced today the launch of their new product line and brand, the Abram Boot Company.

The new boots are the same p.w. minor quality, and made right here in Batavia, but you, the customer, design your own boots at

You can also visit p.w.'s local outlet store at Main and Jackson to try on boots and sit at an in-store computer to design your custom boots.

Customers can choose leather, sole, eyelets, speed hooks, toe type and laces to fashion the look they find most appealing.

Local customers are invited to use the promo code "Batavia Made" when ordering their boots online for $200 off the purchase price.

The new line is named after Abram Vorhees Minor, the younger brother of Peter Wycoff Minor. The brothers founded p.w. minor in Batavia 149 years ago.

More than a year ago, Pete Zeliff and Andrew Young purchased the company, which was about to be shut down, and saved it, investing substantially to expand production, modernize the plant and bring jobs back to Batava that had been transferred to China.

Top photo: Lisa Paul-Khan.


Full press release after the jump:

November 13, 2015 - 8:53am
posted by Raymond Coniglio in Dunkin Donuts, batavia, business.

The fate of a proposed West Main Street Dunkin’ Donuts is back in the hands of city planners.

The Genesee County Planning Board took “no action” Thursday night, on dramatically revised plans for the project.

The county board voted 3 to 2 on a requested subdivision, special use permit, sign permits and area variances for a new drive-thru restaurant at West Main and River streets.

The city Planning & Development Committee can now vote to approve — or deny — the project by a simple majority vote.

“We’re happy with that,” said Kip Finley, project development manager for Indus Hospitality, told the county board.

Thursday was the fourth time Indus Hospitality has appeared before county planners since June 2014. The county took no action then and once again the following September, before recommending city disapproval this past August.

The city committee voted the project down in September 2014.

On Thursday, Finley told county planners he hoped “the fourth time’s the charm.”

“This time we’re back here because, I think, the city officials took pity on us because we weren’t quite getting it,” he said.

Indus Hospitality revised its plans — particularly for the design of the building — based on input from the city panel, Finley said.

Dunkin’ Donuts would be located on land between Five Star Bank and Barrett’s Batavia Marine. It would be owned by Mike Mikolajczyk, who also owns the Dunkin’ Donuts franchise at East Main Street and Ellicott Avenue.

The revised site plan now calls for a bigger building — enlarged from 1,700 square feet to 2,170 square feet — that is much closer to West Main Street. The entrance has been relocated to the west of the restaurant.

Those changes allow for a longer drive-thru queue off West Main, that would accommodate 12 vehicles instead of seven. A second “bypass lane” immediately adjacent to the west, would allow separate access to restaurant parking and the bank ATM.

That should alleviate concerns about backed-up drive-thru traffic blocking West Main Street during rush hour, Finley said.

Unchanged, is a proposed parking lot exit to the east of Dunkin’ Donuts. Parking and the drive-thru could also be accessed via River Street from existing driveways on either side Five Star Bank.

The restaurant was also redesigned, based on preferences shown by the city Planning & Development Committee, Finley said. It would have a gabled roof, and patio seating facing West Main.

“The architecture is now not at all prototype for Dunkin’,” Finley said. “It’s more fitting in with the residential character of the other buildings (in the neighborhood).”

The addition of landscaping, is intended to block the view of the parking lot from homes on Redfield Parkway.

County Planning Department staff recommended approval of Dunkin’ Donuts requests, with one modification: that a free-standing pylon sign facing West Main Street be replaced with an externally lit monument-style sign.

Finley said a raised sign is necessary for visibility, but said his firm is willing to consider a smaller, or even externally lit pylon sign.

The sign would be illuminated only during hours of operation, which would be from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.

Planning Board members Robert Bennet, Laraine Caton and Lucine Kauffman voted to approve. Ginny Adams and Tom Schubmehl voted against.

With only five of nine Planning Board members present, a recommendation for approval would have required five votes. A vote to disapprove, would have required a majority-plus-one vote for the city board to overturn the decision.

The city Planning & Development Committee’s Nov. 17 agenda includes a public hearing and possible vote on the Dunkin’ Donuts application.

Neighbors who spoke at Thursday’s meeting, said they have not changed their views on the project.

“I’ve been in favor of the project since the very beginning,” said Nelson Baker, of Redfield Parkway. “I can see the cars in the parking lot at Five Star Bank and they don’t bother me at all.”

But another Redfield Parkway resident, Donald Fryling, insisted the parcel is too small for Dunkin’ Donuts, and another drive-thru is too much for the community.

“I’m concerned about adding traffic to an area that’s already extremely congested and dangerous,” Fryling said. “Does a community our size really need a fourth doughnut shop (and) an 11th drive-thru?

“The community doesn’t want it there,” he said.

Nann Zorn, who lives on River Street, said the new site plan doesn’t change her concerns about traffic.

“Regardless of how beautiful the plans are for the building, none of the aesthetic changes will improve its location,” Zorn said. 

“Nobody’s addressing the overall issue,” she continued. “And the overall issue is the fact that this is the wrong place for this business.”

November 13, 2015 - 8:48am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, bergen, business.

Press release:

Town and village officials from Le Roy and Bergen, along with the Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC), today announced the submission of a community revitalization plan for consideration as part of the second round of America’s Best Communities (ABC) $10 million prize competition.

Le Roy and Bergen are one of 50 communities that have submitted plans intended to stimulate economic revitalization in small towns and cities across the United States. As a quarter-finalist, the Le Roy and Bergen team was awarded $50,000 in June 2015 to develop a plan aimed at accelerating the revival of the local economies and quality of life in both towns and villages.

With the assistance of Saratoga-based firm Camoin Associates, Le Roy and Bergen developed a plan which includes a proposed budget and long-term vision for economic revitalization, highlighting objectives to expand the commercial and industrial base in both towns and villages while sustaining the continued vitality of the agricultural community.

If awarded funding, the plan budgets for the use of funds to: determine gas pipeline capacity infrastructure at the Le Roy Food & Technology Park and Apple Tree Acres Corporate Park in Bergen; conduct a survey of current broadband capabilities for residents and businesses in both municipalities; and identify opportunities to enhance workforce development initiatives. The plan also recognizes the importance of using incentives and existing programs to enhance residential and commercial mixed-use developments in the downtown areas in both villages.

Only 15 communities will be selected for the competition’s semi-finalist round to win $100,000, in which each semi-finalist will make a presentation to a panel of judges about why its community should receive funds to advance its revitalization plan. In addition, three grand prize winners will be selected to win top prizes of $3 million, $2 million and $1 million.

"Through the ABC challenge process, our communities have rediscovered optimism, volunteer spirit and community assets that are highly valued,” said Shelley Stein, Genesee County legislator. “We demonstrate being America's ‘Best Community’ daily in our rural community pride and livability corridors, and have this unique opportunity to improve our shared livelihood by adding basic gas mains and broadband to support our local businesses.”

Anna Marie Barclay, Village of Bergen mayor, said, "The ‘America’s Best Communities’ competition has given the towns and villages of Le Roy and Bergen the opportunity to do what we are committed to: dedicate our time and passion to value and honor our history; enhance the quality of life and sense of place to all who live and work with us; encourage our young people to join us with their families and businesses in our rural environment; support our agricultural resources; and create and maintain economic development in a way that builds on the quality and hometown essence of small town America."

"It has been a great experience working with the ABC team and Bergen and Genesee County officials on this project,” said Stephen Barbeau, Town of Le Roy supervisor. "Community support has been overwhelming and our town board remains very optimistic that we will be able to establish our commercial park, injecting some new, clean commercial growth to our tax base while not detracting from our residential neighborhoods and rural character."

The Genesee Gateway Local Development Corporation (GGLDC), an affiliate of GCEDC, is the entity which administered the grant dollars and oversaw the selection of the consultants used in the development of the revitalization plan.

“The submission of the community revitalization plan serves as a monumental step in moving on to the next stage of this prestigious nationwide competition,” said Thomas Felton, GGLDC chairman. “Every official and community leader involved in this process has played a critical role in making sure this plan comprehensively reflects the business and economic development needs of the Bergen and Le Roy communities.”

November 12, 2015 - 2:23pm
posted by Raymond Coniglio in batavia, business, restaurant, El Rincon, Colombia food.


Marisol Leon, left, who owns El Rincon Colombiano with her husband, Guillermo, is pictured at the Batavia restaurant with waitresses Melinda Amaro, center, and Elena Vega.

Marisol Leon grew up in Colombia, and is happy to share its flavors with Batavia diners.

She and her husband Guillermo opened El Rincon Colombiano Restaurant on Nov. 1 in Valu Plaza.

It’s a second Batavia restaurant for the Leons, who opened their Mexican restaurant, Rancho Viejo, four years ago on Ellicott Street.

Marisol Leon promises “a new experience” for local diners who are not familiar with the South American nation’s food.

“They can try different flavors and learn a little more about another country,” she said.

Marisol and Guillermo — who is from Mexico — originally opened the Valu Plaza location earlier this year as El Burrito Loco. 

The switch from “El Burrito” to “El Rincon,” proves necessity is the mother of invention. After a good start, Marisol said, they had trouble finding a talented Mexican cook.

The solution? “Try Colombian,” Marisol said.

And hire Alberto Rincon, who brings both his name and talents as chef to El Rincon.

Rincon, like Marisol Leon, is a native of Bucaramanga, a city in Colombia’s northeast. He has moved to Batavia with his wife, Anamilde, who is responsible for El Rincon’s homemade baked goods. 

The menu will seem familiar to anyone who enjoys Mexican food. But Mexican and Colombian cooking developed from different regions and traditions — like cousins who have a family resemblance, but very different personalities.

While far from being bland, Colombian food is not as spicy as Mexican, Marisol explained. You also won’t find tortillas or much salsa, and beans are not as prominently featured.

“A lot of steak and seafood,” is how Marisol describes El Rincon’s menu.

Colombian cuisine also features a lot of soups. (“Every day for lunch,” Marisol said.) In addition to a soup of the day, El Rincon serves cazuela de langosta (lobster) and cazuela de mariscos (seafood), creamy soups served with rice, salad and fried plantain slices.

Bandeja paisa, is one of Colombia’s most popular — and most generous — dishes. It includes rice, red beans and ground beef “cooked Colombian style,” along with egg, chorizo (pork sausage), avocado, plantain, arepa (flatbread) and chicharon (fried pork).

“It’s a lot of food,” Marisol said.

El Rincon has a children’s menu, and an “American” menu that includes cheeseburgers and roast beef sandwiches. Take-out is also available.

Marisol said they hope to have a liquor license in place within a month or so, after which the restaurant will serve aguardiente, a sugar cane liqueur; Ron Caldas, a Colombian rum; and Club Colombia beer.

The “flavors” of Colombia, extend also to El Rincon’s ambiance. That includes both the decor and the wait staff, which is outfitted in yellow Colombia National Soccer Team jerseys.

One wall has been painted white, and decorated with bright green and orange shutters and doors. It’s a reflection of the stucco walls and tile roofs of the “Pueblito Paisa,” a popular tourist attraction in Medellin, Colombia.

Marisol said it’s an opportunity to take a trip, without having to travel.

“People don’t need to go to Columbia,” she said. “They can find it here.”

El Rincon Colombiano is located at 4125 W. Main St. (Valu Plaza), Batavia. Winter hours are from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays, and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Fridays.

During summer, it will be open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sundays through Fridays.

El Rincon is closed Saturdays. For information call (585) 201-7602.


Batavia's El Rincon Colombiano Restaurant features Colombian decor, including a hammock and espadrilles -- a kind of slipper. The restaurant opened Nov. 1 in Valu Plaza.

November 11, 2015 - 3:14pm
posted by Billie Owens in bergen, Western New York Tech Academy, business, education.

Press release:

The public is invited to a special event on the campus of the Western New York Tech Academy (WNYTA) at Byron-Bergen Jr./Sr. High School (6917 W. Bergen Road, Bergen) from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 18th. At this time, a new, no-cost, two-year degree pathway program will be announced for participating school districts in Genesee, Livingston and Wyoming counties.

"Our goal for this event is to reignite the excitement created throughout the region two years ago when we received a $2.5 million State P-TECH grant to serve students within the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership schools," according to WNYTA Principal Tom Schulte.

"Building off Governor Cuomo's visit to Batavia on October 7th to announce the commitment of 1366 Technologies at STAMP (Science-Technology-Advanced Manufacturing Park) in the Town of Alabama, we have plans to tie into our successful high school-to-college-to employment chain with information about a new career pathway."

Schulte credits the coordinated efforts of WNYTA with its partners in government, private industry and public education. He anticipates that elected officials, business leaders, members of boards of education, school superintendents, faculty, parents and students will attend the November 18th program. Following a brief formal presentation, guests will tour the WNYTA facilities and can view student demonstrations and presentations in classrooms.

Refreshments will be served. There is no cost to attend, but registration is requested no later than Friday, Nov. 13th by e-mailing: [email protected]

For more information about WNYTA, go to the Web site:

November 11, 2015 - 1:36pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, agriculture.

Press release from Cornell Cooperative Extension of Genesee County:

All those interested in organic dry bean production and marketing are invited to join us Tuesday, December 1, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., at Cornell Cooperative Extension – Ontario County, 480 N. Main St., Canandaigua NY 14424.

Bring a bag lunch; organic beverages will be provided. There is no charge but please pre-register by Tuesday, Nov. 24. Contact Carol MacNeil at [email protected] or 585-313-8796.

We will continue our discussion and networking on the potential opportunities and challenges of increased organic dry bean production in New York State. The demand for organic dry beans continues to increase. While there are a number of growers producing organic dry beans in NY, it is a very small percentage of the total dry bean production in the state.

The interest in this topic is broad based, and includes growers, shippers, processors, brokers, NY Certified Organic, and NOFA-NY.

November 11, 2015 - 1:32pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, agriculture.

Press release from Cornell Cooperative Extension of Genesee County:

2015 Upstate New York Potato Advisory Meeting

Thursday, Dec. 17

9:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.
CCE Ontario County, 480 N. Main St./Route 332

Canandaigua NY 14424 (south of I-90 exit 44)

The 33rd meeting of the Upstate New York potato advisory meeting is scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 17. This is a time for growers, consultants, processors, packers, extension, college and agency personnel to discuss the concerns, needs and opportunities of the Upstate NY potato industry. Preregister by Thursday, Dec. 10, to ensure your lunch ($12):

We will begin with a round table for everyone to share their concerns and interests. Growers are asked to bring ideas for needed research, extension programming, and industry projects. DEC and CCA credits will be available.
If you have questions please contact:

David Votypka (585-315-1094 or [email protected] ) or

Carol MacNeil (585-313-8796 or [email protected] ).

If you have questions regarding weather the day of the meeting call Carol MacNeil.

Contact Carol MacNeil at [email protected] or 585-313-8796.

November 11, 2015 - 1:26pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, Milestones, liberty pumps, bergen.

Press release:

Rochester Business Alliance and KPMG, LLP, recently announced the 2015 Rochester Top 100 companies. These companies represent the fastest-growing privately held businesses in our region. Liberty Pumps, placing #24 on the 2015 list, has made the Top 100 list 15 of the last 18 years.

Celebrating our 50th anniversary in 2015, being named to the Top 100 for another year shows how our commitment to producing a highly innovative and quality product truly pays off.

“Liberty Pumps is a good choice for our customers because the product is innovative, it’s high quality and it’s made right here in the U.S.,” said Randall Waldron, vice president of sales and marketing.

During a brief conversation at the Top 100 luncheon with Charlie Cook, Bob Duffy, president and CEO of the Rochester Business Alliance scheduled a visit to tour the plant in Bergen. After a brief conversation and a viewing of the new corporate video, Duffy was given a personal tour with Cook.

“The most important element is how you service the customer, and there is nobody in the industry that is better at it than we are,” Cook said.

(Photo of Charlie Cook, left, and Bob Duffy, courtesy of Liberty Pumps.)

November 11, 2015 - 1:02pm
posted by Raymond Coniglio in Le Roy, business, Dunkin' Donuts.


It’s almost time to make the doughnuts.

Dunkin’ Donuts will open its newest restaurant at 125 W. Main St. at 5 a.m. Monday, said Joe Bochiechio, multi-unit manager for franchisee Cafua Management Company, LLC.

The restaurant is located at the site of the former Grove Motel, across from the Oatka Podmall. Town planners approved the project in October 2014, and construction has been under way since spring.

Bochiechio said his company has been pleased by the reception.

“It’s been great,” Bochiechio said. “People have been very anxious to have us.”

Twenty-five people have been hired so far — “pretty much all from the Le Roy area,” Bochiechio said — and the location will eventually employ 30.

Hours will be from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily.

Dunkin’ Donuts has more than 11,300 restaurants worldwide. Methuen, Mass.-based Cafua Management Company is its largest privately owned franchisee, with more than 300 restaurants across the United States.

The company has ambitious plans for the Rochester region. Bochiechio said he has helped open seven or eight new restaurants since 2013, and new locations are planned for Warsaw and next year in Mount Morris.

“We’re continuing to grow,” Bochiechio said.

November 10, 2015 - 6:12pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in downtown, BID, batavia, Art Ah La Carte, business.


Kimberly Yasses Argenta has moved Art Ah La Carte from Harvester Avenue to Downtown Batavia, into a storefront on Jackson Street.

She moved the art studio and classroom space because she needed more space, she said, and she thought the location would give her better exposure.

"Already, people have come in off the street, so that's a good thing," Argenta said.

She also thought it would be beneficial to be part of the Business Improvement District and enjoy those promotional opportunities.

This Friday and Saturday she is hosting "Brush Out Cancer," an event to raise funds for the American Cancer Society.

Friday is an art show, vendors' auctions and a 50/50 raffle. On Saturday, from noon to 1:30 p.m., there is Kids Paint. The cost is $30 and pre-registration is required (call (585) 245-1655). And in the evening, starting at 6, Monet and Merlot, which costs $45 and includes refreshments, though if you want wine, you need to bring your own bottle. There will be a wine tasting. Saturday evening's event also includes auctions and a 50/50 raffle.

The fundraisers are in memory of Argenta's mother, Mickey Yasses, who passed away in December, 2013.

November 10, 2015 - 9:50am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Housing Authority, batavia, 400 Towers, business.

A months-long vacancy in the executive director position for the Batavia Housing Authority has been filled, Brooks Hawley announced during Monday's City Council meeting.

Nathan Varland, most recently the housing director for Community Action of Orleans & Genesee, has accepted the position.

Hawley said Varland was one of four candidates interviewed for the position and the board of directors were impressed with his qualifications.

Varland steps into the role while the board conducts an internal investigation into the death of a 91-year-old resident of 400 Towers, who apparently wandered onto the roof of the building and died of exposure. Batavia PD is still awaiting results of an autopsy report in the death of the resident, who may have suffered from mild dementia. 

Hawley, president of the City Council, also serves on the BHA Board.

November 7, 2015 - 9:25pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Stafford, business.


Steve Foster got into the handcrafted gift business when he started making metal sculptures at Adams Welding and Fabrication, and today he expanded the gift business into a space open to other crafters. On the Adams Welding property, 5782 Main Road, Stafford, Foster opened a gift shop filled with crafts of his own creation along with other artisans who have brought items by for him to sell.







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