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December 2, 2018 - 4:37pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Christmas in the City, Christmas, batavia, news, downtown, BID.

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The Batavia Improvement District hosted Christmas in the City last night, which included sleigh rides, a toy train ride, visits with Santa (and the Grinch) along with local Christmas shopping.

For pictures of the parade by Jim Burns, click here.

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Gregory Hallock as Grinch and Nora Browne as Cindy Lou at GO ART! Hallock made his costume while Paige Sikorski, who is 13, put on his makeup.

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Paul Grazioplene posed with Grinch, trying to convince his child that Grinch wasn't scary but the child didn't buy it.

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There's a tiny little bundle in Santa's lap. It's 1-month-old Greyson Malcomb getting his first picture with Santa.

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Batavia Police Sgt. Dan Coffey with Bo Coffey and Alyssa Coffey. Bo and Dan were in line waiting for a ride in the horse-drawn sleigh.

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October 22, 2018 - 5:12pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, BID, Scarecrow Contest, batavia, business.

The Batavia Business Improvement District hosted its first Scarecrow Contest for Downtown Batavia.

As a creative way to add some more fall flavor to downtown decorating, the BID invited any business, group or organization to enter the contest.

For $20 each business was provided basic supplies of straw, a post and zip ties along with their pole assignment. Each business could then get creative in creating their scarecrow.

All voting for favorite scarecrow ended Friday, Oct. 19th. 

  • First-place Winner for 2018 is Batavia Pediatrics;
  • Second-place Winner is Genesee Valley PennySaver;
  • Third-place Winner is Adam Miller Toy and Bicycle

First-place winner receives $100 cash prize, second place $75 and third place $50. The BID would like to thank Home Depot for sponsoring the scarecrows and donating of posts, and to our City of Batavia Fire Department for assembling the posts.

For more information on B.I.D. and Downtown events please visit our website at www.downtownbataviany.com.

October 16, 2018 - 5:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Beth Kemp, BID, downtown, batavia, business, news, notify.

Beth Kemp, executive director of the Batavia Improvement District, has decided the business she co-owns with her husband Brian, T-Shirts Etc. needs more of her time and attention so she's resigned her position.

"It was an extremely hard decision for me because I love working as director of BID but T-Shirts Etc. continues to grow and I felt it was shortsighted of me to allow my own small business to struggle and continue my role here," Kemp said.

"I was only able to maintain a few hours at T-Shirts Etc. while working for BID, which was definitely not enough to support what we need to do over there."

Kemp has given notice to the board but she didn't share her final work day.

The Batavian reached out to Jennifer Gray, president of the BID Board of Directors, for comment and information about finding a replacement for Kemp but we have not yet received a response.

Kemp became director in November 2016.

"This opportunity has been amazing and I am so thankful to have been able to work with so many amazing people in our community," Kemp said. "In the past two years we have put in a lot of work in.

"We are in a great place with our finances, events, sponsorships, business relationships, community relationships, and mission. I look forward to still volunteering for events and community projects as the BID needs."

File photo.

October 7, 2018 - 8:43pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in downtown, batavia, news, wine walk, BID.

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The annual Downtown Batavia Wine Walk, sponsored by the Business Improvement District, was held Saturday evening.

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To purchase keepsake prints of photos or digital downloads, click here.

July 29, 2018 - 12:15am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Beertavia, batavia, BID, news, downtown.

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It wasn't all fun and games at Beertavia on Saturday afternoon. There was also the serious business of sampling beers from more than two dozen brewers from Batavia, Buffalo, Rochester, the Southern Tier, the Finger Lakes and beyond.

Four years ago, there were only three brewers participating and 300 people in attendance. This year, at least 700 people attended.

"It’s only going to get bigger and bigger every year," said Cory Wolcott, who has been one of the organizers of the event since its inception. "People love it. We run it well. People are happy, so it will grow."

Four years ago, there were no breweries in Batavia and how we have Eli Fish Brewing Company, reviving a local brand that died out 100 years ago. Eli Fish was a lead sponsor of this year's Beertavia.

This is the first year that VIP tickets sold out in advance.

Wolcott said one reason people love Beertavia is it's easy to try so many different craft beers.

"They like the ability to get to a brewery and try their beer pretty effortlessly," Wolcott said. "There are a lot of bigger events but this is like a medium event so you can still try just about everybody who is here without waiting too long or feel like you’re elbow-to-elbow with somebody. It’s so relaxed but still big enough to enjoy a lot of different breweries."

Previously: Photos: BID's first Beertavia

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June 8, 2018 - 10:04pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in farmers market, public market, downtown, BID, news, batavia.

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It was a bright, beautiful day for the first day of the Batavia's Downtown Public Market at Bank and Alva.

In addition to many returning favorites for the Genesee County Farmer's Market, there were two new vendors at the market today, Market Manager Mike Bakos told WBTA. 

Pickle Annie's offers a variety of pickles as well as flavored cider vinegar, which Bakos said is supposed to be good for joint health.

Also new this year is Bad Ash BBQ (The Batavian's publisher and editor can recommend the pulled pork sandwich with baked beans and coleslaw).

"This is a really good spot for the market because we can attract vendors all season long and expand," Bakos said. "We can make the market bigger as needed and that’s really nice."

The market sells $5 Farmers Market Money gift certificates and if you buy $45 worth you get another $5 free.  

The market also accepts SNAP benefits and thanks to a grant, through July, customers who use their SNAP benefits card at the market will receive a $2 coupon for each $5 purchased from a food vendor.

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May 31, 2018 - 11:59am

Press release:

The Genesee Country Farmers' Market located at the Downtown Batavia Public Market opens for the season on Friday, June 8th, at the market's location on the corner of Bank Street and Alva Place.

Market hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays with the season running from Friday, June 8th, through Friday, Oct. 26th.

"This year marks the third year of collaboration with BID (Downtown Batavia Business Improvement District)," says Market Manager Mike Bakos. "The Market will remain a three-day per week "Grow-Your-Own" market featuring the freshest locally grown produce along with unique specialty items from local farms and artisans.

"Vendors are excited about the upcoming market season with many of last year's vendors returning along with some new additions. The market will once again participate in the SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), NYS FreshConnect, WIC and Senior Farmer's Market Check Programs. Stop by and talk directly to the people that grow your food."

Parties interested in joining the market to become a Seasonal Vendor or Day Vendor may contact Sharon Brent at (716)-560-0853 or by email at [email protected] or Mike Bakos at (716) 866-4958 or by email at [email protected].

Qualifying charities, service-groups, or 501c3 organizations that would like to participate in the market may obtain a "FREE" market stall by contacting the market at (716) 866-4958 or by email at [email protected].

May 23, 2018 - 5:36pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, news, business, BID.
Press release:

The Downtown Batavia Business Improvement District (B.I.D.) Board elected new officers for the 2018-2019 term.

New executive board is made up of Board President Jennifer Gray, Board Vice President Leanna DiRisio, Board Treasurer Kristine Duran, and Board Secretary Lisa Casey.

The BID Board welcomed five new board members this year that were announced at the BID’s Annual Meeting in April. The new members to include: Wesley Bedford, Joann Baiocco, Marc Johnson, Rick Mancuso and Tina Rose.

The newly elected officers represent the first female President and Vice President to serve on the BID Board since its origination in 1998. 

For more information on B.I.D. and Downtown events please visit here.

April 28, 2018 - 6:20pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in downtown, BID, batavia, news, notify, business.

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Pastor Marty Macdonald was an evangelist for Downtown Batavia at the Business Improvement District's annual meeting and awards breakfast in the Generation Center on Friday morning.

Macdonald, pastor of City Church and the keynote speaker Friday, delivered a sermon on the virtues and values of Batavia, his belief in its potential, and his encouragement for Downtown's business owners to remain steadfast in their commitment to growth and community.

“This is the greatest city on the face of the Earth,” Macdonald said. “I really believe that. We as leaders are commissioned to make incredible decisions, not just once in a lifetime but every single day because we are presented with the call to make the future around us great. And not just for five, 10 or 15 years. We are called to change generations yet to come.”

He said he is overjoyed to see the success he sees coming Batavia's way and encouraged business owners not to gripe about the problems they might see but embrace what is going right.

"I’m thankful when I pull into the parking lot next to our building and I can’t find a place to park," Macdonald said. "I remember there was a time you could have thrown a bowling ball in any direction and not hit anything. Now people are upset because they’ve got to walk a little bit. Come on, we need to walk more anyways."

Instead of listening to the few lingering negative voices in the community who badmouth everything they see, Macdonald said we all should aim higher.

"I know I’m not talking to anybody in this room who talks about things that can’t be done," Macdonald said. "I’m talking to people who are can-do people here. Instead of saying what cannot be done or listening to the two or three voices in the community that seem to have the largest megaphone built into their mouths, let’s decide to live at a higher level than we’ve ever lived before. Let’s commit our attitude to be changed in order to go higher and go further than we have ever gone before."

After comparing and contrasting two birds of the desert -- the vulture that feeds only on dead things and the hummingbird that seeks beautiful flowers and spreads life -- Macdonald said, "Can I encourage you today to start thinking like a hummingbird, to start thinking like that one who is looking for life, looking things that are living, instead of focusing on something that is dead. I just want to throw this out here, and I don’t mean to insult anybody, but urban renewal is over. It’s dead. It’s gone. Yes, we learn from yesterday but we can’t stay stuck in yesterday if we are going to move on to a great future."

Adding, "In my church, everyone would say, ‘Amen’ right now."

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Jon Mager, co-owner of the newly established Eli Fish Brewing Company, along with Matt Gray and Matt Boyd, delivered the opening remarks, talking about how the new restaurant, brewery, and restaurant incubator came to be.

"We all grew up in Batavia," Mager said. "We’re all very familiar with the area. We recognize that Downtown has been hurting for quite a few years. Over the years we, unfortunately, saw many restaurants and retail stores leave Downtown or close up completely. We admit we looked other places. We saw places with lower rent, lower operating costs, and lower construction costs over the entire project."

But they picked the former Newberry building for several reasons, including (the fact that) its surrounded by parking; Jackson Square is a hidden gem; there is ample traffic passing past the location; the current Downtown businesses are "awesome," and they are all nostalgic and love old buildings.

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City Council President Eugene Jankowski talked about the benefits of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative and the process of the city winning the $10 million prize.

He recalled that while making a presentation in Albany, a slideshow of pictures was on a screen behind him when serendipity struck.

"I was talking about how I was walking to school and I remember the smell of those wet, demolished bricks and seeing this once beautiful downtown just rumble down," Jankowski said. "I remember that smell and I was telling the story, and unbeknownst to me, the picture came up of urban renewal and a pile of wet bricks. Jason (Molino) told me that afterward and I thought maybe the timing is right on this one."

Jankowski expressed his appreciation for Downtown's local business owners.

"I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for investing your time and your hard-earned money in our Downtown and in our City," Jankowski said. "I know it’s a risk and I know sometimes it’s not always easy, but I as a Batavian really appreciate driving down Main Street and seeing all the traffic."

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Jeff Gillard was named a Volunteer of the Year.

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Derek Kane was named a Volunteer of the Year.

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The Genesee Valley PennySaver, celebrating its 70th year in business, was named a Business of the Year. Pictured are Manual Karem, PennySaver ad manager, owner Steve Harrison, BID Director Beth Kemp, BID Board President Steve Krna, and Beth Walker, a sales associate with the PennySaver.

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Adam Miller Toy and Bicycle, celebrating its 100th anniversary, was a Business of the Year. Pictured are Buzz Masse, Mark Masse, Joyce Masse, Cathy Roche, Michael Mugler, John Roche, and Krna and Kemp from the BID.

April 9, 2018 - 4:06pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, batavia, news, BID.

Press release:

The Downtown Batavia Business Improvement District will hold its Annual Meeting & Awards Breakfast from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. on Friday, April 27th at City Church Generation Center, 15 Center St., Batavia. Registration opens at 8 a.m.

There will be an overview of this year’s goals, announcement of newly elected board members, and presentation of “Spirit of Downtown” Awards.

Cost is $20 to attend. All BID Members are invited. RSVP by Monday, April 16th to the Downtown Batavia BID office at 200 E. Main St., Suite 12, Batavia, NY 14020 or at www.DowntownBataviaNY.com.

This Year’s Spirit of Downtown Business Award winners are Adam Miller Toy and Bicycle and Genesee Valley PennySaver. Spirit of Downtown Volunteer Award winners are Jeff Gillard and Derik Kane.

For further information contact Beth Kemp at 585-344-0900 or [email protected].

March 30, 2018 - 5:26pm
posted by Billie Owens in BID, batavia, Jackson Square, music.

The lineup has just been released for the 2018 Downtown Batavia Concert Series in Jackson Square, according to the Downtown Batavia Business Improvement District.

Live music will be featured on Friday evenings from 7 to 9 in the square, located between Center and Jackson streets, bring your own chair. Admission is free thanks to the generosity of sponsors for the concert series.

Here's the lineup:

  • June 22 -- Red Creek (Party Rock)
  • June 29 -- Don Newcomb Band (Country)
  • July 6 -- Old Hippies (Acoustic & Original)
  • July 13 -- The Josie Waverly Band (Contemporary Country)
  • July 20 -- The Grove Street Band (Classic Rock / R & B)
  • July 27 -- The Ohms Band (Classic Rock)
  • Aug. 3 -- Mitty & The Followers (Motown)
  • Aug. 10 -- Ghost Riders (Hardcore Country)
  • Aug. 17 -- Something Else ('80s / '90s Pop Rock)
  • Aug. 24 -- Bluesway Band (Blues)
December 6, 2017 - 9:52am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Sonny's Restaurant, batavia, downtown, BID, news.

Press release:

The Downtown Batavia Business Improvement District (BID) Christmas in the City Committee would like to announce the winner of the annual Holiday Window Decorating Contest & The Holiday Parade.

The window contest was judged by seven community members, during the day, that were escorted by RTS Bussing arranged through the Genesee County Office for the Aging, as well as five members of our local Zonta organization of Genesee County during the evening. The groups scored 18 windows of local businesses located within the Downtown BID. 

We would like to congratulate Sunny’s Restaurant, located at 12 Batavia City Centre, as this year’s winner of the contest. The winner receives $200 cash prize, as well as $100 advertising credit at The Batavian and $100 advertising credit at Genesee Valley PennySaver.

The Holiday Parade this year brought out 30 different groups, agencies, organizations and businesses. Four local parade judges were tasked with voting for “Best Float” overall. The winner of this year’s Holiday Parade goes to Rosicki, Rosicki, & Associates, located at 26 Harvester Ave. Congratulations to Rosicki, Rosicki, & Associates and "Thank You" to all that participated in this year’s Christmas in the City!

August 12, 2017 - 8:37pm
posted by James Burns in batavia, BID, genesee, BEER FESTIVAL, news.

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Beertavia was this afternoon and it was a funtavia festivia in the suntavia. Sorry for going too far with the puntavias.

Batavia BID (Business Improvement District) hosted a beer tasting with more than 24 craft brews and ciders.

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What is normally a blacktop parking lot on Bank Street in Downtown Batavia was transformed into a lawn-covered oasis, with a giant white tent for the nearly 700 people in attendance.

While patrons were tasting the unlimited beer and cider, Ohm’s Band performed a few sets to help keep the atmosphere upbeat.

Batavia Turf donated the grass for the parking lot that had quite a few lawn games as wall as picnic table seating and Adirondack lawn chairs.

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The reputation and size of Beertavia is growing every year. So much so, this couple flew up from Chattanooga, Tenn., just for this event. They read about it on beerfests.com and decided it was for the right festival for them. (Picture below.)

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Black Creek Cidery won the People's Choice Award for the best drink in the tasting.

Angotti Beverage Corp. helped bring this group of brews together and we are fairly certain all are available locally, if you wan to try some of what was inside the tent or buy some of your favorites to enjoy at home.

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August 9, 2017 - 6:30pm


This year’s third Annual Beertavia promises to be better than ever. With more than 20 local breweries, this year’s attendees will be greeted with over 50 tastings of local craft brew, cider and mead. Along with delicious beverages, the event will host several food and specialty vendors.

As the Headline Sponsor this year, Alex’s Place will be on site serving up their amazing menu. We are pleased to have with us also this year Batavia’s Original Pizzeria, Yancey’s Fancy, Cheesed and Confused Food truck, Buffalo Brew Fab, The Bavarian Nut Factory, Santiago Cigar Factory, and more!

Tickets are still available at Adam Miller Toy and Bicycle, Angotti Beverage and Batavia Bootery until Friday at 5 p.m., and then available at the event. Get your tickets today for Beertavia this Saturday!

The OHMS Band will be performing live and there will be some great raffles! Click here to purchase your tickets now.

April 21, 2017 - 5:16pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in BID, downtown, batavia, news.

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The Business Improvement District held its annual meeting and awards breakfast this morning at City Church's Generations Hall on Cedar Street, Batavia.

Above, Director Beth Kemp delivers opening remarks.

The Spirit of Downtown Award was given this year to Steve Hawley and his downtown business, The Insurance Center.  Hawley was out of town, so not available to accept the award.

Photos below: Amy Worthington, owner of Amy's Fluffy Friends, and a tireless volunteer for the BID, received one of two volunteer of the year awards. The other went to Corey Wolcott, bottom photo, manager of Angotti's Beverage, for his volunteer work on Beertavia, which is now heading into its third year as a local annual event.

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April 4, 2017 - 11:44am
posted by Howard B. Owens in BID, batavia, downtown, business.

Press release:

The Downtown Batavia Business Improvement District will hold its Annual Meeting & Awards Breakfast on Friday, April 21st
from 8:30 – 9:30 a.m. (registration at 8 a.m.). At City Church Generation Center, 15 Center St., Batavia.

Overview of this year’s goals, announcement of newly elected board members, and presentation of “Spirit of Downtown” Awards. It costs $10 to attend. All BID members are invited.

RSVP by Monday, April 17th to the Downtown Batavia BID office at 200 E. Main St., Suite 12, Batavia, NY 14020. For further information contact Beth Kemp at 585-344-0900 or [email protected].

February 24, 2017 - 9:06am
posted by Howard B. Owens in BID, chamber of commerce, batavia, business.

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The Business After Hours gathering for the Chamber of Commerce yesterday was also a celebration of the arrival of a news director for Business Improvement District.

Beth Kemp moved into the BID office more than a month ago and she and her husband, Brian, co-owners of T-Shirts Etc. and both artists, went right to work redecorating the space, so for many of the people attending the event were seeing the bright and attractive revamped space for the first time.

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December 3, 2016 - 10:03am

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Hundreds of people lined Main Street in Downtown Batavia on Friday night for the Christmas parade that was the highlight of a successful Christmas in the City for 2016.

Many businesses opened their doors for activities and food to celebrate the annual event.

To view photos and purchase prints click here:  steveognibenephotography.com

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One of the many floats in the annual parade.

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Bradley Winslow, local musician.

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10-year-old Ryan Cox getting his face painted sponsored by T-Shirts Etc.

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Batavia Concert Band

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Students and staff from Batavia City School District singing carols at the Holland Land Office Museum.

November 30, 2016 - 6:33am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Beth Kemp, BID, batavia, downtown, business, news.

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Beth Kemp, who has been active in the Downtown business community since she and her husband, Brian Kemp, moved their business, T-Shirts Etc., to East Main Street in 2012, has been named the new executive director of the Business Improvement District.

Kemp replaces Laurie Oltramari, who resigned about two months ago, following a recruitment search by the board of directors that brought in potential job candidates from throughout the region.

Kemp thinks the board recognized her passion and commitment to Downtown.

"I feel there is a lot of potential for our Downtown and I would love the opportunity to bring it to the vision that I see," Kemp said. " I feel the board of directors is moving in the right direction. I think I’m able to collaborate nicely with all the organizations and the city. I have great relationships already established to move things forward."

In order to take the job, Kemp resigned from her director position with the Business Education Alliance.

The move seemed like a natural extension of her longtime involvement with the BID, she said.

"I've actually been in love with our downtown since we moved our small business down here," Kemp said. "I jumped on any opportunity I could take to get on all the committees to help with events to help other small business owners, so it just seemed like a perfect fit for me.  It’s everything that I love to do."

Since moving Downtown, T-Shirt's Etc., which started in the Harvester Center, them moved to the former WBTA building at Main and Harvester, before moving to East Main, has continued to grow and is now located on Center Street.

There's been some tension the past year or two between City Hall and the BID, but Kemp things will be smooth sailing going forward.

"For me personally, I’ve never had any tension or problem dealing with the City on any level," Kemp said. "They’ve always been very willing to help me with any event that we’re coordinating. Any committee I’ve been on, we’ve had great relationships. I don’t see that as being an issue at all."

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