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Farmer's Creekside Inn

Bench dedication in Le Roy part of ongoing revitalization effort in the Village

By Howard B. Owens


History, art, culture, and community all come together with the installation of four new black metal benches in the Village of Le Roy.

The project is the inspiration of Sarah Farmer, a co-owner of Farmer's Creekside Inn, and a businesswoman who splits time between Rochester and Le Roy.

"This all started in downtown Rochester where we were trying to get away from all the chaos of the riots and all the bad things going on, all the hate. And trying to do some soul-searching with some association members and businesses, and we ended up coming up with this project, called the Black Bench Initiative," Farmer said prior to a ribbon-cutting outside the Creekside Inn on Friday. "Basically, it is something creating a memory of historical significance of different landmarks and important things to each community that they're in."

For Le Roy, the touchstones are fishing in the Oatka Creek, the Barn Quilt Trail, the Jell-O Museum, and a Ginkgo tree. 

Rochester-area artist Stacey Mrva worked with Farmer on the themes and designed and built the benches.

Mrva started welding sculptures in steel while an art student at Syracuse University, and she has seen several of her sculptures become public art in the region.

"I'm an artist but also a craftsperson," Mrva said. "I make things and I like to work with my hands, but most of all, I like to create pieces that can be part of our everyday lives, making art accessible."

The project was made possible with the cooperation of the Village of Le Roy and a $15,000 grant from NYS Homes & Community Renewal through the Main Street Program.

"One of the things that we hope to do in the future is get some more suggestions to do six additional benches along Main Street," Farmer said. "It just creates a sense of gathering, an ability to come down Main Street."

Sarah Farmer and her father-in-law Bill Farmer have more plans to help revitalize downtown Le Roy.

They are going to turn the former bank building across the street into a multi-use event space -- a ballroom, a concert hall, a conference space that will accommodate up to 175 people.

"It will have a bar, a small dining room and a full kitchen," Sarah said. "You can outsource it for private events and weddings and we're gonna donate space to the community for youth banquets and proms and stuff like that."

The top floors will be converted to apartments, she said.

The Farmers also purchased the building next door that used to be a coffee house.  They hope to turn that into a bakery.

"We have to offer a breakfast at Creekside for hotel guests," Farmer said. "Ideally, it'd be really nice to be able to have a place where they can get breakfast earlier than nine."

Her inspiration for restoration and community involvement is her Bill Farmer, she said, who invested more than a million dollars and several years of work to restore the Creekside after a devastating fire gutted it and left it vacant for more than a decade. It's literally become a cornerstone of the Village of Le Roy since reopening in 2017.

"Main Street has been near and dear to my family," Farmer said. "My fearless leader, my mentor, Bill Farmer, he started this very much in the mentality of restoring historic Main Street and of revitalizing the community. I very much have taken that and been very much inspired by that. And I'm so excited to see what we can do in the future. And I'm just so grateful for being able to get this project (the bench project) here."

Top photo: Sarah Farmer, Stacey Mrva, and Shelley Stein, Le Roy's representative on the Genesee County Legislature.

Photos by Howard Owens








Photos: Boxing and Brews at the Creekside in Le Roy

By Howard B. Owens


BeyondDriven Fitness opened its Boxing and Brews tour at the Creekside Inn in Le Roy on Thursday evening.

Matt Walther said the fitness club is planning to bring the event to more taverns and breweries in the area. 

"It's kind of box now beer later type of event," he said. "It's just a fun way to get into fitness."

Walther said boxing workouts combine strength training and cardio for a workout that is as fun as it is complete.

"When you're punching a bag, it's great cardio endurance," he said. "It is great fitness. We're not doing it to be precise with striking. We're doing it for fitness.You keep moving. It's great for your upper body and your lower body. And then you incorporate strength and it's just the best of both worlds."

And it's the kind of exercise that is adaptable for just about anybody, regardless of age and some physical limitations. 

"It's real, real easy for anybody to get into and anybody can do it," Walther said. "We've got people of all ages and levels right now. I think we've got from middle school on to my mom, who's here with tons of different ailments. It's just an awesome, awesome way to stay in shape."

BeyondDriven Fitness and Performance is located at 66 Main Street, Le Roy.  For more information, email [email protected]

Photos by Howard Owens




Looking to knock out your fitness boredom? Boxing and Brews is Thursday

By Joanne Beck


How about some oysters, libations, and a little exercise to liven up your Thursday?

Boxing and Brews will provide just that for $5 at Farmer's Creekside Tavern. Anyone can participate in the event hosted by the Le Roy restaurant and Beyondriven Fitness and Performance’s BeyondBoxing program, co-owner Casey Mehlenbacher says.

The event is set to begin at 6 p.m. Thursday at the tavern, 1 Main St., Le Roy.

“You do not need to be a Beyondriven member to sign up. No previous boxing experience is required,” Mehlenbacher said.

“Boxing gloves will also be provided if you do not have your own. BeyondBoxing is an eight-round, 45-minute workout that incorporates boxing combined with accessory movements designed to burn fat and help tone muscle.”

Class will be “upbeat, high energy, and most importantly, fun,” Mehlenbacher said.

“We constantly hear from attendees how the time ‘flew by' and how much they enjoyed the class,” he said.

This is a first-time Boxing and Brews event at Creekside. All attendees will receive a free drink token that can be redeemed at the bar after the workout. Creekside will also be running specials for buy-one-get-one-free drinks and $1 oysters after the class.

Participants are asked to show up by 5:50 p.m. to get ready for class on the south deck of the tavern. The rain date will be Sept. 1.

Why offer a boxing fitness class at a restaurant? To build muscle and burn fat, of course, in an upbeat, fast-paced environment, Mehlenbacher said.

“We also are strong believers in supporting local businesses and engaging in positive community-building events. We are certain that this Boxing and Brews event will meet all of the above criteria,” he said.

Register HERE.

Photo from

Starting today, Farmer's Creekside Tavern & Inn in Le Roy switches to winter hours

By Billie Owens


Submitted photo and press release:

Farmer’s Creekside Tavern & Inn is transitioning to seasonal winter hours starting Columbus Day.

As of today, Oct. 8, regular dining will be as follows: 

  • Wednesday -- Kitchen: 11a.m - 9 p.m.; Bar: 11 a.m. - 11 p.m.
  • Thursday -- Kitchen: 11 a.m. - 9 p.m.; Bar: 11 a.m. - 11 p.m.
  • Friday -- Kitchen: 11 a.m. - 10 p.m.; Bar: 11 a.m. - 12 a.m.
  • Saturday -- Kitchen: 11 a.m. - 10 p.m;. Bar: 11 a.m. - 12 a.m.
  • Sunday -- Kitchen: 11 a.m. - 8 p.m.; Bar: 11 a.m. - 10 p.m.

Farmer’s Creekside Tavern & Inn will still be open for overnight guests as well as prescheduled events, meetings and parties.

To utilize the facility for an event, please contact us at [email protected]; we’d be happy to host your next happy hour, board meeting, holiday party, etc.

Texas songwriting great Walt Wilkins to play Saturday at Farmer's Creekside in Le Roy

By Billie Owens

Press release:

After a three-year break from touring on the East Coast, arguably one of America’s great songwriters brings his stories and melodies back to select East Coast locales this month.

At 8 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 18, Walt Wilkins will be at Farmer’s Creekside Tavern & Inn, located at 1 Main St. in the Village of Le Roy. There is a $15 cover charge at the door.

Since he was last on the East Coast, Wilkins has put out three new records:

  • "Streetlight,” perhaps his most poignant solo effort to date with all new songs;
  • “Watch It Shine,” a harmonic masterpiece with his Texas supergroup the Mystiqueros;
  • “Live at the Rock Room: Walt Wilkins & Kevin Welch,” a touching and overdue collaboration from two master storytellers, recorded over two nights in Austin, Texas.

This eight-stop tour, will give old fans and new friends a chance to see and hear a master songwriter in intimate venues and concert houses.

About Walt Wilkins:
San Antonio, Texas-born Walt Wilkins has been called a genius, more than once, and a writer the caliber of John Steinbeck and his voice as comfortable as a pair of old blue jeans, and he is, and has, all of that.

His crafting of story-songs, hard-edged vocals to sing them and a plaintive guitar have made him a fixture of the Texas music scene (and Nashville before that). He’s put his magical touch on recordings by new and veteran artists, too many to count.

His songs have been recorded by the likes of Kenny Rogers, Kellie Pickler, Ricky Skaggs, Pat Green, Brandon Rhyder, Ty Herndon, Cory Morrow and Kevin Welch. He has recorded 12 records, some solo, some with his Texas super-group The Mystiqueros and some with his singer-songwriter wife, Tina. His latest record is a live CD with fellow Texas songwriting master Kevin Welch.

Walt Wilkins: "I am fortunate that I play my songs across a wide region that is filled with people who find comfort, enjoyment and meaning in coming out to listen to folks like myself. I am fortunate that enough they come out, generally, that I can come back to those places and play my songs again. I am lucky, I think, that I knew my calling at an early age, and at one point in my life, I took the necessary steps to follow that calling out into the world.

"I am still learning how to listen to, and stay true to the voice, and true to the work I am given. I try not to take myself too seriously, but I do try to take seriously this work; this calling. I play some nights just me and my guitar, and some nights with my talented and funny wife, Tina. And some nights with the The Mystiqueros, a living art collective, a hill country jukebox, one of the bands on the bill in honky-tonk heaven.

"I drive, I play, I sleep and dream. I have had a fair share of songs recorded by other folks, which was my dream all along, and I have played shows with heroes and real poets and the deepest of cats. But I live for the gig tonight, and tomorrow. I am fortunate... and I hope to see you down this road.”

Farmer's Creekside Tavern & Inn in Le Roy wins two prestigious awards

By Billie Owens

Press release:

The almost 200-year-old Farmer’s Creekside Tavern & Inn has been fully restored and expanded after a fire nearly destroyed the building in 2004. At just over one year in business, Farmer’s is making waves -- not only received the OpenTable Diners' Choice Award, but also recently being awarded the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence.

Establishments awarded, “The Award of Excellence” typically offer at least 90 selections, feature a well-chosen assortment of quality producers, along with a thematic match to the menu in both price and style. Whether compact or extensive, focused or diverse, these lists deliver sufficient choice to satisfy discerning wine lovers.

At Farmer's, we strive to offer a unique experience:

The world of wine is vast and nearly limitless. There are more than 25,000 different grape varietals grown in more than 6,000 regions. Politics, trade and agricultural economics have largely influenced what grapes dominate the market. Today, the average consumer is generally exposed to the “6 Noble Grapes” which include: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling.

While Farmer’s Creekside pays homage to many of the “popular kids,” we’ve dedicated ourselves toward exploring many of the other 24,994 grapes from several of the lesser-known regions. Humans are explorers at heart and we hope to lead our guests through an exploration of wine.    

Farmer's Creekside Tavern & Inn Supports Local Agriculture:

Restaurants are a big foundation for supporting the local economy -- from masons to carpenters to cow farmers and wine producers -- we have an economic responsibility to support the local agricultural industry. Sommelier Drew Tschäppät notes that, “Finger Lakes and Niagara wine has come immeasurably far in the last 20 years. Sommeliers and critics have taken note and more and more consumers are getting on board as well. I consider myself extremely fortunate to be working in a region that is producing such incredible wines and that is getting better each year.”

With a modern menus, beautifully appointed guest rooms, and an award-winning wine list, Farmer’s Creekside Tavern & Inn has positioned themselves as a destination dining venue worth visiting. It is located at 1 Main St. in the Village of Le Roy.

For more information visit or call to reserve a table 585-768-6007.

New paddleboat service debuts during Oatka Festival

By Howard B. Owens


When Jay Beaumont and his partners decided to buy the Eagle Hotel in Le Roy in 2012 and open the Smokin' Eagle BBQ & Brew, Beaumont immediately noticed that the Eagle's back property line included access to the Oatka Creek.

His first thought: Paddleboats.

For the first few years of the Smokin' Eagle, Beaumont had many other restoration projects to work on in the old tavern and hotel at 9 Main St. His idea was to build a wooden dock and that, he figured, would be a lot of work.

As Bill Farmer's restoration project of the Creekside Inn at 1 Main St. progressed, Beaumont put his idea on hold.

"As Farmer started to pick up the pieces, he told me he would build us access to the creek," Beaumont said. "What he built was the Taj Mahal down there. He really advanced my idea."

With further research, Beaumont found a pre-built plastic dock that could be floated into place. That was installed this past Thursday, just in time for annual Oatka Festival and the Eagle's inaugural Paddleboat Regatta.

The regatta started with just enough hardy sailors to power five paddle boats. By the end of the first race, there were enough new entrants for a second race, and by the end of the third, enough for a fourth race. The top two teams from each race then faced off in a finals race.

"It was really exciting," Beaumont said. "It was a big hit."

Beaumont has hired some high school students to help get customers on and off the boats and a college student to manage the business.

"The kids did a great job," Beaumont said. "It's a chance for them to get experience in a small business but it's also fun. What could be a more fun job? What kid wouldn't want to do it?"

The dock also includes a kayak ramp so any kayaker on the creek can stop at the Eagle or the Creekside Inn for a drink, snacks or a meal.

Besides paddleboats, the concession rents kayaks.

Paddleboats are $20 an hour with a weight limit of 460 pounds and children must wear a life vest.

Kayaks are $10 an hour.

For kayakers who want to dock their own kayaks to visit the restaurants, there is a $10 fee, which helps cover the cost of dockside staff assisting the boaters, but the customers will receive a $5 voucher for the Smokin' Eagle.

Beaumont said the service will be open from 11 a.m. to dusk every day of the week, but those hours may be adjusted as they learn to gauge demand.

Rentals will not be available during times of heavy water flow on the creek for safety reasons.







While Farmer's Creekside Inn prospers, Bill Farmer keeps busy in the Village of Le Roy

By Howard B. Owens


If opening Farmer's Creekside Inn -- a restaurant and hotel spread out over four floors with two bars and multiple dining areas -- wasn't enough to keep Bill Farmer busy, he's had his businesses in Rochester (primarily Catenary Construction) to run, and he also acquired two additional properties in the Village of Le Roy that required some revitalization and restoration.

Both are still a work in progress.

In December 2016, he purchased the Bank of Le Roy building, which Bank of America vacated earlier in the year.

He started off 2017, before the Creekside even opened, with the purchase of one of Le Roy's legendary restaurants, the L.B. Grand, and its 150-year-old, two-story building.

The bank building, built in 1920, is nearly 12,000 square feet of commercial space. Farmer hasn't decided yet what to do with the first floor but thinks a brewery would be a natural fit. He has two tenants on the upper floors -- a recording studio and an artist/art teacher.

After the Creekside, the L.B. Grand restaurant and building have been a significant focus for Farmer since last spring.

"When we took over, we did immediately what we could do -- new chairs, new carpets, new lighting," Farmer said. "The kitchen has been a battle."

It's functional now, and up to code, but it still needs some work. The new chef, Bob Grant, got a new line right away -- new salamander, new grill, new ovens.

Grant revamped the menu but maintained the restaurant's focus on Italian favorites.

"It’s a classic place," Farmer said. "It’s really got a nice warm feel to it. We took a lot of the tchotchke stuff off the walls and put in some really cool antique light fixtures, and our guy, Bob Grant, our head chef there -- he works his fanny off and he does a great job -- I always hear positive things."

Upstairs, workers are just finishing the complete restoration of the four apartment units on the second floor. The units were completely gutted -- new walls, new doors, new windows, new kitchens. The large one-bedroom apartments will rent for $750 to $850 per month.

As for the Creekside (click here for our coverage going back to 2009), business is good, Farmer said. The deep winter months weren't as bad for business as he might have expected and the restaurant is getting about 65 percent of its business from outside the county, which is a good thing.

"We think we’ve got a strong connection with the Genesee Country Museum, with Letchworth, even the Finger Lakes Region, and not to mention Niagara Falls," Farmer said. "To me, and this has been part of my vision from day one, is that we want to attract people here. Geo-tourism, right? We want to bring people from all over the place and that means we have to have our profile high enough above the crowd that we stick out people say, ‘oh, yeah, let’s come here.’ ”

Farmer said the tourism staff of the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce has been vital to helping the Creekside reach travelers.

"I think they’re an incredible resource, an incredible resource," Farmer said. "We’ll see how the year plays out but we’re in their dining guide, we’re taking part in email blasts, and another thing we’ve done is rack cards. They sound kind of cheesy in a way but yet for a certain amount of money we can spread those from Syracuse to Buffalo so people traveling down the Thruway will see the rack card, pick it up and see we’re three and a half miles off Exit 47."

Farmer said he also keeps an eye on keeping the local clientele happy.

"Genesee County is our base, and given the way we are geographically located, that takes in a little bit of Wyoming, a little bit of Livingston, a little bit of Monroe (counties) -- that 10- to 15-mile radius is our base."

For that base, the restaurant is planning live music during the warm months to go along with other promotions.

This will be the Creekside's first full spring, summer, fall season since Farmer got it reopened after nearly 10 years of remodeling and repairs. Farmer acquired the property about four years after a fire in 2004 gutted much of it and destroyed other parts of it. 

Since reopening, there have been a few changes to the plan for the restaurant. The upstairs dining room, for example, was going to be dedicated to fine dining on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. 

That won't happen, at least not soon.

"We decided it's too complicated right now," Farmer said.

The room is working well, Farmer said, for hosting wine-pairing events, which sell out every time (there are events planned in April and either May or June) and hosting parties and other events for customers.

"The wine-pairing dinners offer some unique menu items and entrees and so far that suffices the creative needs of the culinary team and our wine director thrives on those events as well."

The Creekside is Farmer's first foray into the restaurant business and he admits that though there are moments of great happiness, it's far more stressful than he anticipated.

"It’s a learning experience," Farmer said. "I’ve always said a good day is when you learn something. Something should pop up on your radar screen every day that is, ‘geez, I didn’t know that.’ Well, it happens more and more with our restaurant businesses. It’s daily. It’s consistent, but there are even subtle things in construction that challenge and so that learning is constant. It’s good."

Photos by Howard Owens of the L.B. Grand and the second-floor apartments.





A legacy rekindled, a history preserved at Farmer’s Creekside Tavern & Inn

By Genesee County Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center

In July 2017, we welcomed a new business to Genesee County – but its building has history dating back to the 1820s. On Main Street in Le Roy sits the beautiful Farmer’s Creekside Tavern & Inn.


Walk in the front doors and you’ll find yourself in a cozy downstairs tavern and restaurant. Journey upstairs, and you’ll be blown away by the stunning gathering spaces and overnight accommodations. And no matter where you step, you’ll be able to see the view of the Oatka Creek bed – stunning in both the summer and winter months.

With so much beauty and finery, you’d never know that Farmer’s Creekside has a rich and tragic history. The building was constructed in the 1820s and was one of Main Street, Le Roy’s first locations. Over the years, the building served as a hat factory, a bank office, and several private residences. But in 2004, a fire nearly claimed the building for good, destroying almost all of the structure and interior.

Restoring this building and opening Creekside has truly been a labor of love for owner Bill Farmer. He acquired the building in 2007 and is welcoming visitors to enjoy the space – 10 years later.

Now that the wait is over, it’s time to make your reservation. Executive Chef Sean Wolf offers a tavern menu with sandwiches, salads and snacks, and a more upscale dinner menu featuring modern expressions of classic tavern fare. You’re bound to find something to make your mouth water. And with a well-stocked bar featuring 18 beers on tap and a selection of regional and global wines, there are plenty of drink options to complement your meal.

Once you’ve filled your belly, check out the view – or check into one of three brand new suites. Each one is decorated differently and features a modern yet timeless design that perfectly blends into the building’s brick walls, black Marcellus shale, and original wood beams.

On occasion, Farmer’s Creekside will host special events that are open to the public. They also offer space for private events and gatherings with advance reservation.

Support Genesee County’s newest offering! Farmer’s is open for lunch and dinner, Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. The Bar is open for extended hours in the evenings, and overnights can be booked year-round.

Learn more about Farmer’s Creekside and their story at: Or visit to learn more about Genesee County's unique attractions and local offerings.

Landmark Award 2017: Farmer’s Creekside Tavern and Inn

By Howard B. Owens


Article by Cleo Mullins

Farmer’s Creekside Tavern and Inn has taken a Le Roy Landmark that was built in the 1820’s and after ten years Bill Farmer has created a four story building that will serve as a meeting place for many. It is a perfect blend of preservation with modern technology, comforts and conveniences. It opened this past spring. The original building was built of black Marcellus shale in irregularly sized stones that were dug from the Oatka Creek. It was always covered with stucco until the 1990’s. This building has served as a hat factory, bank office, law office and private home for Percy Hooker (NYS Senator), Harold Cleveland, and Dr. Knoll, who also had his medical office in the building. Later the building was used as a restaurant. I could not find a list of all the restaurants but I can name two (The Ganson House and Creekside Tavern. The stucco was removed while it was The Ganson House in the 1990’s according to an article.

In 2004 fire broke out and it took 200 firemen and 10 companies to put out the fire. After the fire, the owner Jim Gomborone put on a roof and windows. In 2007 Jim had hired Catenary Construction to estimate the cost to repair the building. Bill Farmer is the founder of Catenary Construction and is the senior estimator that came to the property. Bill Farmer said, “ without the roof, the building would never have survived”. Bill found the building in dire condition and the estimate with all the work that needed to be done was so high that the owner suggested that Mr. Farmer buy the building. Mr. Farmer could see the potential in this distinctive building that dates back to the 1820’s. Mr. Farmer and his son purchased the property in the fall of 2007 and on the day of closing the remainder of the south wall collapsed.

With the goal of salvaging as much of the original structure as possible, the rocks from the collapsed walls were saved to be used again. It took four full seasons of masonry work on the project.

The original shale walls and about 100 square feet of original floor, a fireplace, some window boxes and the two front entrances still remain. The rest of the building is a total reconstruction. The floor in the fine dining area call the Cleveland Room with the original fireplace is the original deep brown hemlock floor. Where the floor had been burned it has replacement boards. The next room also can be used as fine dining or a meeting room has the original striped floor of black walnut and a lighter maple. One area still has the scorched boards from the fire. The tavern is on the level beneath the street and has a copper beer system that they designed and had custom built with 18 taps of different beers. They have a spacious kitchen to prepare food for the fine dining area and the tavern. The top floor has three suites and each has rustic beams that came from the building. The beams had been taken down to be cleaned and evaluated and then were reset in the downstairs tavern and upstairs inn. The lowest level, next to the creek, has an outdoor bar with patio seating. The fine dining room, the tavern, and the patios can accommodate 400 people.

The Landmark Society of Genesee County is awarding Farmer’s Creekside Tavern and Inn the Preservation Award for the extensive renovation they have done on this historical building. 

Photos: Creekside Inn is open

By Howard B. Owens


It's been years of effort and expense for Bill Farmer, but nearly a decade after he acquired the Creekside Inn, after a fire destroyed most of the building, the tavern that is part of so many local memories, is once again welcoming customers.

The 200-year-old building has been completely refurbished from top to bottom and is gorgeous. Farmer has hired a top-notch staff and the Creekside is set to become a local favorite, but a regional dining destination.  

Tavern dining on the second floor and the patio bar are open. The third-floor fine dining won't open for a few weeks yet.

This weekend, during Oatka Fest, the Creekside is not accepting reservations. It is first-come, first-served.









Bill Farmer sees decade-long vision for Creekside Inn finally coming into focus

By Howard B. Owens


A group of writers and photographers, mostly food and wine critics from Monroe County, were in Le Roy last night to be the first to experience Farmer's Creekside Inn.

Ten years have passed since Bill Farmer, chairman of Catenary Construction in Rochester and a specialist in historical preservation of concrete and masonry buildings, saw the Creekside Inn for the first time.

It wasn't a pretty sight. Three years earlier the Creekside had been destroyed by a fire people in Le Roy still talk about.

"Part of it is the environment," Farmer said about what attracted him to buying and restoring the 200-year-old building. "It was a vision when I first looked at the building, and it was in dire shape.

"It was collapsing. It was ravaged by fire. But I took a look at the environment, the setting, the historic structures that are across the creek, the composite of the village itself, the post office across the street, and I thought this was just an unbelievable setting that was unrecognized."

He decided to set out and create a dining and hospitality destination that was second to none in Western New York.

The preview dinner last night was the first time Farmer could see that vision start to come into focus in a meaningful way. There's still a lot of work to do on the interior of the building before Farmer's Creekside Tavern & Inn opens to the public on June 5, but Farmer said he has the right people in place to make it happen.

"It’s really overwhelming-- this event, this private little dinner we hosted tonight was a culmination of a fast track of putting the kitchen together, hanging the final fixtures," Farmer said. "The floors are only three days old. It’s really a tad overwhelming to see it come so beautifully, full of life, and so many people here enjoying the experience and seeing the staff perform. I just feel so flattered and honored to have the staff we have."

It's been eight years since The Batavian first paid a visit to the Creekside and met Farmer. We've dropped in several times over the years since and been impressed each time with the attention to detail; the quality Farmer is investing in the building. The new floors are real hardwood; the interior railings are oak, the fixtures are the highest quality and the amenities -- exterior patio and bar with a gas fireplace, a tavern, a fine dining room, guest rooms on the top floor -- are well thought out and designed.

As the opening day approaches, it's clear Farmer has given the same attention to detail in hiring his staff, with Chris Grocki as general manager and Sean Wolf as executive chef.

"I’ve always felt blessed by the people that I employ," Farmer said. "I've had people working for me now for well into a 30-year span. I value my employees. I recognize their efforts. It’s just so rewarding when you put together a good team, and they go out and execute the plan. That holds true with everything we do whether it’s real estate development or masonry and concrete services, masonry restoration services, and now it's going into our food and hospitality services."

Farmer said he decided on Grocki and Wolf as his top leadership in the restaurant several months ago and said throughout the process he's convinced he made the right choices.

During his opening remarks before the dinner, Grocki was equally effusive about his new boss.

"Opening a restaurant is a labor of love, and we’ve got a family here that has no shortage of it," Grocki said, adding, "I’ve never had the pleasure of working for somebody who has gone for it in quite this way. You always say, 'You don’t do anything like anybody else does.' and clearly that’s true."

One of the key people in helping the restaurant, tavern and inn come together so beautifully, Farmer said, was interior designer Jason Longo. Longo said Farmer was a special client.

"Chris and I had worked on a project before, and I called Chris one night," Longo said, "and I was nearly in tears, and I said, 'I can't believe that in my career' -- which has been going on for some time now -- 'that I've ever worked on a project where people gave everything, from the carpenters to the electricians. Every single person who has worked on this project is so invested and so involved.' "

Farmer said he just had a passion for the project since the day he saw the building and has made sure he's had the right people in place to make sure the vision became a reality.

"It seemed pretty clear to me when I came to the building, looked at the site, saw the surroundings, stone building, 200 years old almost, I hate to say it, but for me, it was a no-brainer to get involved in," Farmer said.

"You’ve got to have a passion for it," he added. "I think that’s the driving force. I fell in love with this place. I fell in love with the building. The site. Part of the experience of rehabbing and building it and meeting all the challenges and solving all the issues are a great part of it."

The dinner consisted of multiple courses loosely paired with wines, mostly from the Finger Lakes. It started with a ceviche of Alaskan halibut, bitter spring greens, truffle chicken, followed by a surf and turf and a dessert of foie gras. Wines included a Hermann J. Wiemer Blanc de Noir 2011, Ravines Dry Riesling Argetsinger Vineyard 2012, Palo Cortado 'Peninsula' Sherry' and a Benanti Etna Bianco 2015, among others.

The idea, Grocki said, was to give guests a sample of what will be served in the tavern and in the fine dining room, known as the Cleveland Room, which will serve fine dining, destination, and special occasion meals four days a week. The fine dining room, the tavern, the patios, all told, will seat 400 people.  

Farmer thinks the Creekside Inn will become a destination location, drawing people from throughout the region, especially Buffalo and Rochester.

"I had no idea initially how important of a project this would be, but over the years it’s become apparent," Farmer said. "I’ve realized this is a significant, significant project for Western New York, the Town of Le Roy, the county. It’s a very meaningful project, and I’m flattered and privileged to be that guy doing it."


Truffle chicken


Surf and turf


The tavern, still under construction


One of the inn's guest rooms.





Bill Farmer, Sean Wolf, Chris Grocki


Bill's son, Bill, daughter Hailey, who will run fine dining, her son Ryder, and Bill Farmer.

Genesee Tourism: Farmer’s Creekside Inn in Le Roy bustling with activity – opening soon!

By Genesee County Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center

On Wednesday afternoon, the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce staff received a sneak preview of Farmer’s Creekside Inn in Downtown Le Roy. With the structural and outside work mostly completed, the interior of the restaurant was buzzing with activity as they strive for a spring opening. Without giving away all the details (we’ll let the restaurant do that), Farmer’s Creekside Inn is going to be a must-visit restaurant for the people of Le Roy, Genesee County and beyond. The owner and management are working hard to create something special – with the results evident during our visit. The facility’s multiple dining rooms and outdoor seating areas overlooking the serene Oatka Creek spillway will create many different opportunities for patrons.

Here are a few photos:








Visit to learn more...

Photos: Exterior refurbishing of Creekside Inn nears completion

By Howard B. Owens


Exterior work on the refurbished Creekside Inn in Le Roy is very near completion.

The work has been extensive, including new decks on two levels, two new patios, a new bar on the first level, new drainage on Main Street and a restored entryway along with tiered landscaping at the back of the building.

Owner Bill Farmer said yesterday that work begins immediately on the interior remodeling, and that will take about three months.


Restoration of the Creekside Inn could be completed this year

By Howard B. Owens


Over the winter, restoration work on the Creekside Inn resumed. The building was covered in protective plastic on the east side for much of the winter and when the plastic came off and the scaffolding came down, it revealed three levels of patios and decks and restored masonry.

Owner Bill Farmer expects work to be completed to have a restaurant and bar open by December.

Today he hosted a small gathering of invited guests to see the progress of the work.

Farmer gave me permission to take pictures of the decks, patio and interior. Sadly and unfortunately, as I was rushing out the door this evening to get to the fairgrounds for the tractor pulls, I hastily reformated the SD card in my camera, forgetting I had not yet transferred the pictures to my hard disk. Disk recovery didn't work and they're all lost.

All I can tell you is, Bill is doing a first-class job. This place, when it's done, will be stunning. The views will be beautiful. A couple of times this morning when he gave me a private tour, I was amazed by the work he's done on the place.

Farmer doesn't want to talk publicly about his plans at this point, but the revived Creekside Inn should be a great addition to Le Roy and Genesee County.

Creekside Inn restoration shows potential for Village of Le Roy

By Howard B. Owens

The Oatka Festival in Le Roy yesterday may have been the place for all the fun, but the former Creekside Inn -- soon to be the Creekside Tavern & Inn -- was where you heard all the buzz.

The site of many grand times, and no small bit of history, was jammed with people looking over what Bill Farmer and his son are doing to the rustic stone building set against the falls of Oatka Creek.

Farmer is a man passionate about restoration, having put a whole career into working on some of the landmark restoration projects in Rochester. The Creekside project was supposed to be a hobby project, but has become Farmer's full-time avocation. 

For those who think entrepreneurs won't invest in Genesee County, Farmer will have sunk more than $1 million into the project by the time the restaurant and tavern opens next spring.

I spent at least 30 minutes just chatting with Farmer.  He's passionate about the project and believes it will become a destination point, drawing diners and beer lovers from Buffalo and Rochester to a village that has seen better days.  Farmer believes, and I think he's right, the Creekside restoration could spark interest from other developers in the village, which he thinks is one of the great undiscovered villages in WNY. 

The Village of Le Roy is well located, with some great older buildings and plenty of local history to be a draw for shoppers and diners from all over the region.  It's great to see an entrepreneur like Farmer take such a huge step to help save one great building and hopefully spark a new economic era for Le Roy.

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