News of Otsego County

Joe Vezza

Renovations Near Completion At Cooperstown’s NY Pizzeria

Renovations Near Completion

At Cooperstown’s NY Pizzeria

Webster Paving’s Stan Nepa, West Oneonta, drives the paver as the parking lot is completed today at Cooperstown’s New York Pizzeria, which has been under renovations for the past two months. Nepa is assisted by Jeff Baran, left, of Morris, and Chris Dixon of South New Berlin. Since buying the pizzeria a decade ago, owner Joe Vezza has opened Bocca Osteria, an Italian restaurant, and Upstate Bar & Grill just down Route 28 leading into the village. (Jim Kevlin/
NY Pizzeria Aiming For July 4 Opening

NY Pizzeria Aiming

For July 4 Opening

Proprietor Bob Teel of Teel Concrete Construction, Richfield Springs, spent Sunday digging up the sidewalk in front of Cooperstown’s New York Pizzeria, which is undergoing a major renovation and expansion. Teel said he and Joe Vezza, who also owns Upstate Grill & Grill and Bocca Osteria in Cooperstown, goes back to Vezza’s first entrepreneurial venture, Richfield Springs’ New York Pizzeria.  Teel Concrete was continuing with the job today.  (Jim Kevlin/
Triple-A Coming Down For Pizza Shop Expansion

Triple-A Coming Down

For Pizza Shop Expansion

Joe Vezza, one of Cooperstown’s top restaurateurs, at right, strides across the scene as the former Triple-A office building at Chestnut and Elm is being demolished at this hour to make way for the expansion of his New York Pizzeria.  The work is being done by Heroux Excavating.  Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh, who was observing at the scene, said Vezza’s plan for a PDD (planned development district) has been approved, but a few more village reviews may be necessary before the project goes forward. Vezza, who also operates Bocca Osteria and Upstate Bar & Grill as the village’s south end, plans to add a new entrance on the south side of the building, outside seating and more parking. (Jim Kevlin/
Village Board Hears Plans For NY Pizzeria Upgrades

Village Board Hears Plans

For NY Pizzeria Upgrades

New York Pizzeria owner Joe Vezza and his architect, Teresa Drerup, appeared before the Village Board Monday night with plans to upgrade the restaurant at Chestnut and Elm. They reported Vezza has bought the former Triple-A offices next to the pizzeria, which is hopes to demolish to create 12 more parking spaces, shift the main entrance to the south side of the building, and perhaps add outside tables during the summer. (AllOTSEGO photo)
Community Embraces New Upstate Restaurant

Community Embraces

New Upstate Bar, Grill

Joe Vezza’s new Upstate Bar & Grill, on Route 28 on Cooperstown’s south end, was even more packed than usual Saturday evening, as – with the summer season over – the new establishment hosted a community open house.  Hundreds watched a variety of football games and savored a buffet with samples of appetizers and entrees – from ribs to a whole pig – from the newly released menu. Inset photo,  bartenders Sam Borgstrom, Jennifer Putnam and Maria Senk serve from 26 taps of local, state, national and even a few international beers.  In addition to regular offerings, Upstate is offering banquet space for private parties.  (Tara Barnwell/

Work Nears Completion At Upstate Bar & Grill

Work Nears Completion

At Upstate Bar & Grill

Upstate Bar & Grill maitre d’ Art Bodin, top, points out the two dozen beer taps that will offer local and regional craft brews, imports Guinness and Stella Artois, as well as key national brands when the new 225-seat establishment at Cooperstown’s Southern Gateway opens sometime later this month. As restaurateur Joe Vezza, in right photo, reviews plans with contractor Tim Winslow, renovations that expanded and transformed the former Peppermill Restaurant, going on for months, are nearing completion. With the taps as the centerpiece of the sports bar, the restaurant will focus on American cuisine, with a menu that includes prime rib and entrees from land and sea. More to come as opening day nears. (Jim Kevlin/
New Owner Giving Peppermill Rooflift

New Owner Giving

Peppermill Rooflift

Thomas Eldridge and Rick Parsons, of Payne’s Cranes, Bainbridge, shovel off the roof of the Peppermill Restaurant, Route 28, Cooperstown, after removing it this morning. The Peppermill was recently purchased by Joe Vezza, proprietor of Bocca Osteria and New York Pizza, from Frank Leo. Larry Winslow of Winslow & Sons, Richfield Springs, said his crew is raising the walls on the Peppermill’s banquet hall from 8 to 12 feet, and the plan is to put the roof back on by 3 p.m. today. (Jim Kevlin/
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21 Railroad Ave. Cooperstown, New York 13326 • (607) 547-6103