Jun 15, 2012 Jason Emerson Uncategorized
The long-vacant village space that once housed the popular bar Morris’ Grill will soon have a new tenant – and it will continue the tradition of being a local village pub.
The new owners of the Seitz Building, along with the owner and general manager of Coleman’s Authentic Irish Pub in Syracuse, announced Thursday, June 14, that a new venture named The LakeHouse Pub will come to Skaneateles by late summer. Dennis Coleman, general manager of Coleman’s Authentic Irish Pub, and two Skaneateles partners, Joseph I. Goethe and Michael I. Wamp, will own the establishment.
The announcement was made to much enthusiasm and applause at the Skaneateles Area Chamber of Commerce’s monthly luncheon, held at Joelle’s French Bistro.
“When there’s an opportunity in Skaneateles you really have to take it seriously,” said Coleman, who told the assembled chamber members he never would have imagined a few months ago the idea of opening a new pub in Skaneateles. “We know we can’t recreate Coleman’s, and we know we can’t recreate Morris’, but we can recreate the atmosphere.”
That atmosphere will include a large, dark oak bar; a menu including carved sandwiches, soups, and salads; a trivia night, a pitch league and a dart league.
The new pub venture came about due to the sale of the Seitz Building this past May to Seitz Building Associates, LLC, a group of local developers. The building, built in 1822 at the corner of West Genesee and Jordan streets, went into foreclosure last year, but the Morris’ Grill space had been vacant longer than that.
At the time of the building purchase, Ted Kinder, one of the four partners of Seitz Building Associates, Inc., said they purchased the Seitz Building to bring it back into the hands of local residents who understood the local community and economy. One of their first priorities was to find a new tenant for Morris’ old space who would operate a bar and grill there “under the same spirit and philosophy” that Morris’ used for 50 years.
At the June 14 chamber luncheon, Kinder said he and the other partners “are excited to return the little roadhouse bar” to the Morris’ Grill space, that such a place has become “an important part of the village.”
Bob Neumann, owner of Erie Materials and an SBA partner, told luncheon attendees that in May a request for proposals went out by the owners to find a restaurant/bar interested in going into the space. They received about eight interested responses, and in it came down to two “serious” contenders.
“We wanted to bring in a world-class bar – not a fern-bar, but a bar-bar. A bar has been there for over 100 years, starting with Hennessey’s,” Neumann said. “And there’s only place, and one guy that is the ultimate publican in Central New York.”
That publican is Peter Coleman, owner of Coleman’s Authentic Irish Pub, and father of Dennis. The elder Coleman was also on hand for the announcement, where he likewise received great applause from the chamber members.
Coleman said his son will “make this community proud” with the new LakeHouse Pub, and that during the past four years that Dennis has run Coleman’s he has done “simply an amazing job.”
Dennis Coleman said that as a third generation publican he knows how to run a successful pub, while his partners, Goethe and Wamp, both longtime Skaneateles residents, understand and are committed to the local community. The LakeHouse Pub will combine these aspects of the owners to create a local venue that will make the community proud.
Coleman, Wamp and Goethe already have created a comprehensive site plan and have spoken to architects. Next they must present the plan to the village board for approval. “We hope to be open by the end of August,” Coleman said.
Sue Dove, director of the Skaneateles Area Chamber of Commerce, said, “We’re thrilled to have you. You guys have hit a home run, and we’ll do everything we can at the chamber to support you.”
Jason Emerson is editor of the Skaneateles Press. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican and Eagle Bulletin newspapers.