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Main St. Pizza Company

October 18, 2018 - 2:58pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Destro, news, Sheriff's Office, Main St. Pizza Company.

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Vic Marchese, owner of Main St. Pizza Company donated $4,000 this morning to the Sheriff's Office to be used toward the purchase and training of a new K-9.

The department's K-9 "Destro" died unexpectedly two weeks ago and the Sheriff's Office is just beginning a fund-raising campaign for a new dog.

Photo submitted by the Sheriff's Office: From left, Deputy Chris Erion -- Destro's partner, Vic Marchese, Sheriff Bill Sheron, and Undersheriff Greg Walker.

The Sheriff's Office is also planning a tribue to Destro on Wednesday. Press release below:

A tribute to honor Genesee County Sheriff’s Office K-9 “Destro,” who passed away last week after a very short battle with cancer, will be held next Wednesday, Oct. 24, 3 -7 p.m. at the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office, 165 Park Road, Batavia.  The public is welcome to stop by and enjoy refreshments while viewing a slideshow of Destro’s accomplishments. His handler, Deputy Erion, will also be in attendance.

The K-9 program is a valuable asset to the Sheriff’s Office and surrounding law enforcement agencies. The K-9 team is used for search and suspect apprehension, locating missing persons including missing children and Alzheimer's patients, contraband and drug searches, tactical tracking, evidence recovery, building searches, patrol, and public presentations.

The Genesee County Sheriff’s Office has been able to maintain a K-9 team for the past 16 years with support and donations from the public along with county funding. Public support and donations are vital to the continuation of this worthwhile program and are used to help offset the cost of food, veterinary services, training, equipment, and other K-9-related expenses.

Deputy Erion will continue to be the K-9 officer and has begun the search for a new K-9. The cost for a police dog ranges between $7,500 - $10,000 and a 15-week K-9 training course costs approximately $5,000.

The Genesee County Sheriff’s Office is respectfully requesting your help to raise funds to continue this program, a critical service to the community. Donations can be made payable to and mailed directly to Genesee County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Fund; 165 Park Road, Batavia, New York 14020. A GoFundMe page has also been created, and the link is available from the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page.

Please consider making a donation to the K-9 Fund; your support is greatly appreciated.

November 22, 2017 - 10:14pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Main St. Pizza Company, batavia, business, news.

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Today, Vic Marchese, owner of Main St. Pizza Company, presented a $3,309 donation to Genesee Cancer Assistance. The funds were raised in October through the sale of large pizzas -- delivered in a pink pizza box -- with $1 from each large pizza sold going to the charity.

Pictured, Fred Hamilton, Lori Kurek, Sue Underwood, Nickie Fazio, and Vic Marchese.

October 13, 2017 - 5:27pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Main St. Pizza Company, batavia, business, news.

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Customers who order a large pizza during the month of October will have it delivered in a pink pizza box and a portion of the proceeds from the sale will be donated to Genesee Cancer Assistance.

Pictured are Main St. employees Brandi Heidenreich and Canssa Visalli.

September 20, 2016 - 10:05pm

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While acknowledging the artistic value of a five-panel window mural on the storefront of the Main St. Pizza Company at 206 E. Main St., the Batavia Planning & Development Committee nevertheless ruled on Tuesday night that business owner Vic Marchese will have to remove the one that depicts two young ladies simultaneously taking a bite out of a large pie.

The planners granted a special sign permit that allows Marchese to keep four of the perforated vinyl window coverings despite the fact that the total area of the signs is more than the maximum allowable amount of 25 percent of the window space.

The other renditions show a woman enjoying a plate of spaghetti (which covers two windows), a display of pizzas and a pizza chef flipping dough into the air.

Marchese requested the permit last month, but action was tabled after the board decided to seek an interpretation from the City Zoning Board of Appeals as to whether the coverings constituted a window sign as defined by the Batavia Municipal Code and whether the total coverage area should be based on the percentage of coverage for the individual window pane or all window surfaces combined.

The ZBA ruled that this form of window treatment clearly meets the BMC definition of a window sign, and that the maximum amount of window coverage allowed refers to the individual space in which the sign is located and not all window surfaces combined.

Additionally, the Genesee County Planning Board recommended approval of the special sign permit as long as the 25 percent maximum area standard was met, providing for the transparency needed to "enhance the pedestrian experience."

Planning Board Member Ed Flynn, before making the motion to grant the permit, said he was of the opinion that all of the space at the front of the building should be considered when figuring the percentage.

"I am thinking that it should be 25 percent of the entire frontage," Flynn said. "That's my interpretation."

Flynn, Robert Knipe, Matthew Gray and Chairman Duane Preston agreed that the window murals were "attractive," but stressed that they needed to adhere to the city code.

"I agree that it's not unattractive, and I commend the job you have done with the place, but for us it's a compliance issue," Knipe said in addressing Marchese.

For his part, Marchese pointed out that several other Batavia businesses, citing Batavia Optical, Burger King and Ziebart as examples, have large window signs.

"How can the optical place get away with it?" Marchese asked.

Preston countered his claim, however, stating that those places put up posters, which are meant to be temporary.

Planners, as well as Code Enforcement Officer Doug Randall, suggested to Marchese that he should remove the advertising component of the signs or eliminate two of the coverings.

In the end, Flynn's motion asked that only one of the panels be removed, and the special sign permit was approved by a 4-0 vote.

Following City Manager Jason Molino's lead, the board did not tie its decision to the maximum allowable percentage of available space requirement, but said it would be looking at these situations on a "case by case basis."

Going forward, Randall said that the board would have to treat every business owner making a similar request in the same fashion. 

After the meeting, Marchese said he would remove the panel (Randall noted that it shouldn't have been put up before the permit was issued) but wondered aloud about his rights.

"It's one panel; I'm not going to miss it," he said. "But is it like a First Amendment thing, too? The city makes things so difficult. It's a lot easier to work with the town (of Batavia)."

Continuing, he said he understood that the city has rules, but didn't understand "what the big deal is."

"It's because somebody complained about it," he surmised.

In other action, the board approved a pair of signs that will be placed on the exterior walls of United Memorial Healthy Living at 164 Washington Ave., and two signs for the exterior of Carter's Restaurant & Bar at 60 Main St.

August 17, 2016 - 2:15pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Main St. Pizza Company, batavia, business, news, downtown.

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Ever since he opened Main St. Pizza Company on East Main Street 11 and a half years ago, Vic Marchese has wanted to serve pasta dishes featuring his mom's sauce and meatball recipes, but the small kitchen in the busy and crowded pizza shop just didn't give him room to grow his business that way.

Two months ago, at the end of a three-year planning and building process, Marchese was finally able to expand his restaurant, building a bigger kitchen and adding a new, large (75 seats) and attractive dining area.

And since then, the customers have been pouring in.

"I always knew we would do well because people always liked my mother’s sauce," Marchese said. "She just passed away four years ago. I wish she was here. She would really enjoy this. She would be out here, talking to everybody, and she would be involved here in the kitchen, I know she would."

The expansion helped Marchese fulfill a few dreams -- serving his mom's recipes, bringing Italian dining back to Batavia, double the number of diners his restaurant can serve at one time and providing a more upscale dining experience.

He designed the new dining room himself, with help from his wife and an interior designer who suggested the tabletops and upholstery on the long booth that sits under the custom-made Main Street sign on an interior wall, framed by two racks of wine. The wood and brick ambiance gives the restaurant a classic, urban feel.

"I wanted to build something that was over the top," Marchese said. "I wanted it to be the best restaurant Batavia could have, as good as anything in any big city."

Customers have told him, he said, that they feel like they're in a restaurant in Boston or Montreal when they're in his new dining room, or with the big meals, friendly atmosphere and good food, they feel like they're home. Both compliments apply.

"The best compliment anyone has ever said, people just thanked me for building this for them," Marchese said. "That says a lot right there. Food aside, pizza aside, spaghetti aside, people say the building is for them."

The homespun atmosphere is accentuated by a wall of photographs of local scenes, alongside shots of the family dog, Winston, and a couple of the restaurant's dishes. The local photographs are the work of Batavia residents Mark Gutman and Howard Owens.

Marchese is particularly proud of the 16-foot front window that opens easily when the weather is good, giving diners not just a view of downtown life on the sidewalk, but an open-air cafe feel, much like any big city bistro.  

Main St. now takes reservations, and that's not a bad idea on most nights, and tables by the window are the most requested by those callers making reservations.

While mom's sauce and meatballs anchor the new dining room's menu, much of the culinary creativity comes from Main St.'s new executive chef, Jason Ball, a native of Batavia who got his culinary degree from Erie County Community College and has been a sous chef and executive chef at several restaurants and hotels in the region. He was most recently sous chef at Orazio's in Clarence, where he was part of a team that won four Taste of Buffalo awards. He spent about 10 years at Orazio's with a break in the middle to be executive chef at Byrncliff in Varysburg.

Ball started hearing talk more than a year ago that Marchese wanted to meet with him and discuss an executive chef position and Ball's first reaction, he said, was "executive chef in a pizza shop? No way," but then once he sat down Marchese and understood his vision, he said he was sold on the idea.

"This is something special right here," Ball said. "I've long wanted to come back to my hometown and do something special and this is it. This is great. We said it would be great and we're doing it."

In preparing for the job, Ball took a family vacation in New York City and visited the bistros of Little Italy. He said he absorbed ideas and atmosphere, and during their planning, Marchese took Ball to Tony B's in Rochester and Marchese had a steak there and told Ball he'd like to include a steak on the menu for the new dining room.

Ball found a cut of Angus filet mignon that costs $20 per cut, which means it's $38 on the Main St. menu, but Ball described it as an amazing cut of meat, and since customers keep ordering at that price, it must be pretty good. Ball said the goal was to offer the best cut of steak in Batavia.

Marchese and Ball want everything to be first-rate, he said, so they only get the best ingredients, including cheese from Yancey's Fancy (for dessert, homemade ice cream from Oliver's Candies, to continue that local theme). 

Ball has the freedom to offer unique and creative specials every night, including some really special specials on weekends, such as this past weekend when the menu included an ahi tuna steak with vegetables and a jasmine rice.

The appetizers include the Winstonator (named after the Marchese family pet), which is comprised of two 10-ounce meatballs in mom's sauce with cheese, and Ball introduced his own take on Arancini, a Sicilian rice ball with asparagus, ricotta, various cheeses and a roasted tomato sauce and chive oil. 

It's quickly become one of the most popular items on the menu, Ball said.

"We want customers to have a great experience," Ball said. "I believe sitting down and enjoying a meal is an experience. Anybody at home can cook spaghetti and meatballs, but here we want it to be an experience. We want to it to be a top-notch-level service, an amazing atmosphere and great food like this town has never seen before. We’ve set our standards very high."

Marchese said he hopes people feel like they've had a real Italian dining experience after a meal at Main St., and not just because they had a pasta dish or a meatball.

"When you go to an Italian family’s house, you always eat well and you never leave hungry," Marchese said. "That’s what I want to emulate here. Our portions are always huge. I don’t want anybody to go away hungry. So far, it’s been good. People are leaving with doggie bags and I like that."

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Jason Ball

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September 18, 2015 - 1:56pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Main St. Pizza Company, downtown, business, batavia.

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Vic Marchese, owner of Main St. Pizza Company, on East Main Street, Batavia, stands in front of the opening of the commercial space next to his business where workers are busy remodeling so Marchese can add more space to his popular restaurant.

The front part of the restaurant will feature a sliding window system, called a nana system, that will allow open-air dining when weather permits, but a closed dining area when it gets cold.

With his plans recently approved, Marchese just ordered the windows, which will take six to eight weeks to arrive. Marchese is optimistic the new space will open in January.

The restaurant will expand by about 2,000 square feet and include additional interior dining room space, as well. The dining room and the pick-up counter will have separate entrances, which will help people get in and out of the restaurant faster.  

Marchese is also expanding the kitchen.

November 17, 2012 - 5:36pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, sports, wrestling, Main St. Pizza Company.

Former professional wrestler Dick Beyer, aka The Destroyer and Doctor X, was at Main St. Pizza Company today selling copies of his book "Masked Decision" and signing autographs.

Previously: Main St. Pizza owner helping promote book of his idol, former pro wrestler 'Doctor X'

November 6, 2012 - 8:05am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, Main St. Pizza Company.

What a life Dick Beyer has led, from a standout in high school football and a football scholarship with Syracuse University, to a master's degree in education and a professional wrestling career that took him and his family all over the world.

One of Beyer's wrestling matches in Japan was televised worldwide and viewed by 70 million people.

"I didn't realize how many that was until somebody told me only 50 million people watch the Super Bowl," Beyer said.

One of Beyer's biggest fans was Vic Marchese, owner of Main St. Pizza Company in Downtown Batavia.

Growing up, Marchese loved professional wrestling.

"I especially liked any wrestler that wore a mask," Marchese said.

Vic became a big fan of Beyer's later career character, Doctor X. Marchese was a member of the Doctor X Fan Club and he said he still has his membership card at home.

"I just always liked Doctor X," Marchese said. "I just never knew he lived 20 miles down the road from me all my life."

Marchese and Beyer met in a local T-shirt shop several years ago and became fast friends.

If Beyer is driving past Batavia, he always stops in to see Vic, usually coming home from a football game in Syracuse.

"I just love his pizza," Beyer said.

Beyer, 82, is finally telling his life story in a new book, "Masked Decisions," and will be at Main St. Pizza from 2 to 5 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 17, for a book signing. Marchese is offering a free pizza with a book purchase.

"It runs through my whole life, honestly," Beyer said. "I don't pull any punches. I don't say a lot about individual wrestlers, who was won this or who was better. I talk about the humor of the game and about being at the right place at the right time."

Beyer attended a vocational school in Buffalo, and after his fourth year had to go to a fifth year of high school for math, history and English. He was offered a football scholarship to Syracuse and while starting for the Orangemen he was recruited onto the wrestling team.

According to Beyer, his roommate at his fraternity house where he lived was the heavyweight on the wrestling team.

One evening, Beyer was at the house playing pinochle when the wrestingly team came back.

"I asked Howie, 'How'd Bill Sky do today?' " Beyer said.

"He blew out his knee."

"I said, 'Who's going to be the heavyweight?' "

"You," said Beyer with deep laugh.

Beyer is a big man, barrel chested, pug nosed, with beefy hands. His baritone voice is as big as his physique and the breadth of his career.

By his junior year in college, he was being recruited by professional wrestling promoter Ed Don George.

The former Eagle Scout started his pro career as Dick Beyer and wrestled mainly in Upstate New York, finishing out an eight-year Army Reserve commitment and working on the staff of the Syracuse football team, including their national championship year of 1959.

His first year as a pro, 1954-55, a wrestling magazine named him Rookie of the Year.

His travels through his early career took him through Chicago, Ohio, Tennessee and Hawaii.

Then in 1962 he got a call from Los Angeles promoter Jules Strongbow

Beyer made his way to Los Angeles where Strongbow told him the next night he would be wrestling in San Diego, wearing a mask, not as Dick Beyer but as "The Destroyer."

Reluctantly, Beyer did it. He said the moth-eaten mask wasn't very comfortable.

"I wrestled," Beyer said. "I came in. I pulled the mask off. I told the manager, I said, 'Artie, tell Strongbow that was the first and last match for 'The Destroyer.' "

Another wrestler convinced Beyer there was money in wearing a mask and loaned Beyer one of his masks, so Beyer gave it a try.

It fit better and was more comfortable. The mask was made from a lady's girdle, so the next day, Beyer and his wife, Wilma, went to Woolworth's and bought ladies' girdles and she turned them into masks for "The Destroyer."

A few years later, Beyer was offered a six-year wrestling contract in Japan, which he accepted.

He was big in Japan (and he learned to speak fluent Japanese). His matches were televised internationally, including the one that was viewed by 70 million people.

Beyer still conducts an annual wrestling camp in Japan.

In the mid-1980s, Beyer retired from professional wrestling. He became an elementary school teacher in Akron and coached high school football and swimming.

Marchese said it's been one of the thrills of his life meeting and getting to know Dick Beyer. They've become good friends.

He's invited Beyer to his wedding.

"How many people can say they had their idol at their wedding?" Marchese said.

November 3, 2011 - 6:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, Main St. Pizza Company.

Becky Smith, of Bergen, is the lucky winner of an iPad following a drawing at Main St. Pizza Company. Owner Vic Marchese gave away the iPad as part of a promotion honoring National Pizza Month in October. Customers were able to fill out registration forms at the restaurant and Smith's slip was selected in a random drawing.

September 20, 2011 - 5:56pm

Week 2's winner: Tom Guentner, who was among six entrants who correctly picked
Jermaine Gresham, Cincinnati, as the tight end with the most reception yards.

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