Previously Featured Business: Glen Park Tavern
Historic Williamsville Tavern Completes Renovations
Glen Tavern calling it their “Quesquecentennial,” but in reality, it’s a week-long party to celebrate The Glen Park Tavern’s 125 year history as an historic tavern in the Village of Williamsville! The celebration dates: Monday, December 3 – Sunday, December 9 at 5507 Main Street, Williamsville. The Tavern’s ads invite anyone to come, and diners who haven’t been there recently probably won’t recognize it. Restoration has just been completed this month to take patrons on a sentimental journey back to 1887 when it was founded as an original American tavern within walking distance of the stagecoach stop at the corner of Cayuga and Main.
That’s the reason a stagecoach is featured prominently in the Tavern’s logo, exterior sign, lunch, dinner, table tents, drink menus and web site ... all newly redesigned to look old, of course! The transformation began when family owners decided that the former decor needed a change. They hired Turgeon & Associates, Inc., a Williamsville–based marketing firm, to reposition the restaurant, and engaged Dean Sutton, Architect, to restore it to its former vintage-look.
Research from the Buffalo/Niagara Heritage Village showed that Tavern building was 37 years younger than the Village itself which was founded in 1850. Additional coverage from the Bee Publications, founded in 1879, included archival photos showing that you could walk Williamsville’s unpaved Main Street to the tavern for something to eat and drink. (There are no records indicating what activities might have taken place on the second floor.)
But the history (and restoration celebration) get even better. One of the stagecoach companies was the famous Wells Fargo line, founded in 1852 by Henry Wells and William Fargo. William Fargo (1818 – 1881) served as mayor of Buffalo (D) for two terms during the Civil War, and for a time, was the majority stockholder of the Buffalo Courier! It should come as no surprise then, that on the first night of the Quesquecentennial, the “character” of Mayor William G. Fargo will STAGE a re-appearance with today’s Mayor of Williamsville, Brian Kulpa. They will arrive to the sounds of jingling sleigh bells in an historic white Vis-à-vis Justin stagecoach pulled by a stallion 18 hands high with crew of five Victorian costumed handlers.
Once inside, revelers will be greeted by costumed members of Amherst’s Victorian Dance Company – a Guild of the Buffalo Niagara Heritage Village, followed by a banjo music, buffet and a toast that “turns back the hands of time” assisted by Senator, Mike Razenhofer; Amherst State Assemblyman, Ray Walter; Amherst Town Historian; Buffalo Niagara Historic Village Board President and Board President of the Buffalo/Niagara Heritage Village, Dave Sherman; Mary Lowther, Village Historian; and restaurant family principals, Jim and Ellie Grenauer, and Chris Robshaw.
New/old decor, a year in the transformation, will feature the tavern’s original huge mahogany bar, brick back walls, copper trim, vintage photographs, and new featured spot-lit roast beef and turkey carving station. The Glen Park Tavern is one of only 40 restaurants in the State of New York that is registered as a tavern. The Tavern is a member of the National and New York State Restaurant Association and winner of the Taste of Williamsville for stuffed hot peppers.
One more item of note: research completed on October 31, 2012 suggests that upon exiting the tavern in 1887, a Glen Park Tavern patron was run over by a stagecoach with a bad tampered horse. Because the Tavern was his favorite haunt, he is rumored to stage an appearance at 6:13 PM on December 3rd and, from time to time, randomly thereafter. Find his likeness in any menu (it’s easy: he’s wearing a bandage on his head) and win a glass of grog!