News of Otsego County

Summer Dreams

From Hot Dog Stand, Moffats Grew Blue Mingo Restaurant Into Mecca For Fine Dining


From Hot Dog Stand, Moffats

Grew Blue Mingo Restaurant

Into Mecca For Fine Dining

The Moffats and Blue Mingo manager Carol Leeds sample a house favorite: S’mores! (Ian Austin/

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to

COOPERSTOWN – There are plenty of places in Otsego County to get drive-thru food.

But the Blue Mingo is the only place to get boat-thru food.

“On busy nights, we’ll come and serve you on your boat!” said owner Michael Moffat. “We have a lot of people who come and order while they’re out on the lake – we know they’ll bring the silverware back.”

Now in its 25th year, what started as a humble hot dog stand is now destination dining for baseball stars, opera fans and anyone who wants to enjoy a meal overlooking Otsego Lake.

Glimmerglass Queen Dream Comes True For Captain Paula

Glimmerglass Queen

Dream Comes True

For Captain Paula

At 18, She Bore Witness As The Paula Lee

‘Burned To Water Line,’ Had To Replace It

Ron Brown, proprietor of The Factory Store in downtown
Cooperstown, and Caroline Jenner, a friend visiting from
Pittsburgh, soak in the scenery from The Glimmerglass Queen’s observation deck. (Jim Kevlin/

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to

COOPERSTOWN – It’s kismet.  Or so it seems, that Paula Wikoff was born to be captain of The Glimmerglass Queen.

Her grandfather, Alfred Engelman, built the original Lakefront Hotel & Restaurant from Quonset huts he bought at an auction of surplus World War II materiel.  At the same auction, he bought a surplus World War II landing craft.

Captain Paula and her beloved Glimmerglass Queen in the slip at the end of Fair Street.

He converted it into a double-decker that echoed a Mississippi River paddleboat, and put it in the waters of Otsego Lake a year before today’s Captain Wikoff was born.

Engelman named it “The Paula,” after his wife.  But a year later, when his darling granddaughter was born to their daughter Haidy and her husband, Bill Zoeller, she was named for both her grandmothers.

And the joyful granddad renamed the boat “The Paula Lee” after the newborn.

She grew up with The Paula Lee.  Then, in 1973, just before her 18th birthday, it caught fire.  From the family home in Lakeland Shores, “We watched it burn down to the water line.”

Time went on, Paula Zoeller went to college, then moved to the Midwest, and met future husband Terry Wikoff.  She missed family, came back to Cooperstown, and the couple created the Red Nugget ice cream stand and developed it into the second biggest Hershey outlet in New York State.

Falling In Love With Fiesta, Again And Again And Again


Falling In Love With Fiesta,

Again And Again And Again

I have fallen in love three times at Fiesta.

The first was the salsa. Each meal is preceded by a bowl of chips and in-house salsa, fresh each day, resulting in salsas with different personalities from night to night. Sometimes spicy, sometimes mild. Don’t let the lightness of this salsa fool you, it is super yummy on chips or dishes.

The second was the tacos; simple and tasty, it’s just not Tuesday for me without the $2 Taco Tuesday special. Pork, beef or chicken, you can’t beat this combination of delicious food at a great price.

My third love was the Diablo Calamari. Deep fried and served with a spicy dipping sauce, this is the dish that made me love calamari. And if you’re in the mood for seafood, this is a great appetizer before heading for main courses like their California whitefish tacos or their shrimp quesadilla. (Fiesta Mexican Grille and Cantina, 19 Clinton Plaza Drive, Oneonta)

Staff Photographer

If you want to feel like a Very Important Customer, head over to Spurbeck’s Grocery, where they greet you like an old friend whether it’s your first time in or your 50th. They don’t skimp on the sandwiches, and if you’re lucky, you get in on a day when they’re doing one of their specialties – paninis, chili dogs – but you never know when that might be, so you might want to stop in often!

But on days when they’re not running a special, I can always count on a cup of delicious, hearty soup. And be prepared! You won’t find thin, boring soups here – lots of them are hearty, cream-based delights, and they run a whole gamut of flavors – lasagna soup, coconut curry shrimp, kale and sausage, just to name a few!

They’ve also started offering breakfast sandwiches, and don’t forget to pick up a pound of their wicked sharp cheddar cheese for later! (Spurbeck’s Grocery, 9 Railroad Ave #1173, Cooperstown)

Managing Editor

Walk down an alley. Enter through a side door. You think twice about it but once you’re inside, it’s magic! Welcome to Alex’s Bistro in Cooperstown. You’re immediately surrounded by eclectic furniture and dozens of mirrors hanging everywhere. The heavy wood bar is to the right – feel free to sit there and dine if you like.

Here’s a must to start lunch or dinner: the Fingerling Potato Fries. Perfectly cooked and served with an awesome chipotle aioli dip, they get your taste buds going for your entrée.

The menu is also eclectic. Thai, Japanese, Cambodian, Indonesian, Indian, Jamaican…the list goes on and on. Try the Great Britain Fish and Chips. Wild Atlantic Cod is fried to a crispness, served with fries. The Japanese Salmon Sesame Noodles has shiitakes, cucumber pickles, sweet tamari and about six other things that make this noodle dish indescribably delicious.
Intense flavors and smells will bring you back to Alex’s again and again! (Alex’s Bistro, Main St. Cooperstown)

General Manager

Diorama Of Massacre In Trove Of Artifacts At Cherry Valley Site


Diorama Of Massacre

In Trove Of Artifacts

At Cherry Valley Site

Local Museums Are Full Of Surprises

Sue Miller built this geographically accurate diorama by overlaying it on a topo map. It’s the centerpiece – but not the only novelty – of the Cherry Valley Museum. (Ian Austin/

By LIBBY CUDMORE •  Special to

Terry Cox, active president of the Cherry Valley Museum, discusses a World War I uniform in the exhibits.

CHERRY VALLEY – In the homesteads of Cherry Valley, even the dogs had to help out with the chores.

“We have a dog treadmill from the 1893 Sears & Roebuck catalogue,” said Barbara Bill, director of the Cherry Valley Museum. “It was attached to a butter churn, and you hung a bone up front and the dog would walk on it to crank the butter churn.”

The dog treadmill is just one piece of the packed Cherry Valley Museum, one of nearly a dozen smalltown museums that track the history of very local life in Otsego County, from the earliest settlers to the present day.

“It’s amazing how many people aren’t aware of their local history,” said acting president Terry Cox. “But they can come here and learn all about it.”

Keep It Simple: There’s Nothing Like A Diner – Or Simple Tuna Melt


Keep It Simple: There’s

Nothing Like A Diner

– Or Simple Tuna Melt

Editor’s Note:  These mini restaurant reviews are prepared by the Summer Dreams staff.

Nothing beats a good tuna melt.  And I mean a GOOD tuna melt!  Plaza Diner in Oneonta has just that.

The tuna doesn’t have so many fillers that you can’t taste it. It’s got just the right amount of mayo mixed in.  Then it’s topped with melty cheese and grilled on your choice of bread.

Not everywhere you go can grill a sandwich – sometimes it’s too greasy or burned.  Not here – grilled to perfection.  It’s served with fries that are to die for too!

My friend had the ham and Swiss cheese club.  It must have been 5 inches tall, loaded with ham and Swiss and lettuce and tomato.  Good club sandwiches are about as hard to find as good tuna melts.

Give them a try, the menu is huge and sure to please everyone! (Plaza Diner, 122 Main St.



General Manager

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and at Jackie’s Restaurant, they know it!

They’ve got all the traditional diner fare – eggs and bacon and pancakes, but I’m always drawn to the Biscuits and Sausage Gravy. They do not skimp on their peppery, savory sausage gravy, and the biscuits are fluffy enough to hold their own – ask to have the biscuits toasted for an even deeper flavor! (Jackie’s Restaurant, 3688 State Highway 28, Milford.)


Managing Editor

Looking for something sweet and crunchy? Give the Cooperstown Diner a try.

The honey-dipped fried chicken is fills both cravings with a crunchy exterior and soft, juicy, and sweet interior. Served with apple sauce and a choice of sides – fries, broccoli, potato or macaroni salad, to name a few – this is a delicious way to spend a meal. (Cooperstown Diner, 136 1/2 Main St, Cooperstown)


Office Manager

A good diner will offer you friendly comfort both in food and in atmosphere.  Sandy’s Diner, located at 5626 Route 7 at Oneonta’s Price Chopper Plaza, checks off both those boxes.

I ordered two eggs over hard and they came out perfectly – the yolks were not dried out yet held firm, and the eggs were not greasy.  The bacon I ordered with my eggs wasn’t too crisp and wasn’t too limp.

My side of French toast was delicious, the bread soft and coated in just the right amount of French toast batter.

My daughter Alexandra ordered two pancakes, which were good and enormous, almost completely covering the cute, colorful plate they came on.  She probably won’t have to eat anything else today!

And then there is Sandy’s comfortable atmosphere.  It may be located on a huge concrete parking lot, but Sandy’s interior is the opposite of its exterior.  The walls are decorated with sparkly butterflies, uplifting mottos, and rows of photographs of Sandy’s customers over the years – babies, kids, parents, grandparents, and so on.

The waitresses do what good diner waitresses do: call you “honey” or “sweetie” as they swiftly take your order, bring out your dishes, refill your coffee cup, and gab with the people sitting at the counter.

Sandy’s diner is one of those places you want go back to at least once a week until you’re known as a regular and photos of you and your family join the ones on the wall.


Staff Reporter

Induction Over, But Art Scene Thriving


Induction Over, But

Art Scene Thriving

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to

As this week’s  cover story on “Possessing Harriet” at the Franklin Stage shows, dramatic, as well as the visual arts, are robust in Otsego County.

Start your weekend off with a farce as Stuff of Dreams production of Ken Ludwig’s “Lend Me a Tenor.” Cost, $17/adult.
7:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday, July 26-27, 2 p.m. Sunday, July 28. Foothills Performing Arts Center, Oneonta. (607) 432-5407 or visit

Kids inspired by the shows they’ve seen this summer? The Fenimore Art Museum is offering a free acting workshop for children aged 6-12 and 12+, all themed around their production of
“Taming of the Shrew.” 1-5 p.m. Saturday, July 27, Fenimore Museum, Cooperstown. (607) 547-1400.

Celebrate the arts in all forms as resident artist Richard Whitten opens his latest exhibit at Gilbertsville Expressive Movement Gallery and Sculpture Park. 5-8 p.m. Saturday, July 27, Commons Drive (off Bloom St), Gilbertsville. (607) 783-289

Tour exhibit “Broadway Revealed: Behind the
Theater Curtain” with photographer Stephen Joseph, theater aficionado Patrice Macaluso. 3 p.m. Sunday, July 28, Foreman Gallery, Hartwick College, Oneonta.
(607) 432-0960.

It’s a full afternoon of music as the Leatherstocking Pipe & Drum Band march down Main Street to St. James Episcopal Church. And that’s not all! Cajun Pete’s Jazz Band, as well as Pipe Organ and Vocalists, will perform at the church. 3 p.m. Sunday, July 28, Begins at Mueller Plaza, Main St., Oneonta. (607) 432-1458.

Celebrate opening of exhibit “Forged In History” featuring works by guest & member artists. And don’t forget the first-floor exhibit “Picturing the Grange” by Andy Baugnet showcasing B&W photos of granges from throughout NYS. 5-7 p.m. Monday, July 29, The Smithy Art Gallery, Cooperstown. (607) 547-8671.

Enjoy Otsego County from above with hot air balloon rides courtesy of the Lauren’s Fire Department! Their annual Fun Day includes refreshments starting at noon, with hot air balloon rides starting at 6:30, Saturday, July 27, Laurens Fire Department,
34 Main St., Laurens.
Info (607) 433-2906

Hot Wings For Hot Weather


Hot Wings For Hot Weather

Pause your stroll through Cooperstown’s Main Street for some of Cooley Tavern’s famous juicy chicken wings on Pioneer St. The skins are crunchy, the meat juicy, and you can take your pick of sauces ranging from mild, to hot, to nuclear, or try Cooley’s Own sauce. A worthwhile stop on your trip through Cooperstown. (Cooley’s Stonehouse Tavern, 49 Pioneer St, Cooperstown.)

LARISSA RYAN, Office Manager

There comes a time in a man’s life when some chicken wings come along and make a believer out of you and for me, that was at The Depot.

They have the usual suspects when it comes to wings, BBQ, Hot and XXX Hot. But it’s the more specialty flavors that really are showcased here. The Depot made a name for their wings with their award-winning Garbage wings and Hot Garbage wings, their famous mix of sweet and savory flavors were an instant hit. But for me, I prefer their Orange Sesame Ginger and the Mango Habanero. Sweet, hot and spicy, just how
I like them.

These aren’t skimpy little wings either, these are good sized wings packed with flavor, covered with ingredients that are sure to satisfy. (The Depot Restaurant and Tavern, 4 1/2 Railroad Ave, Oneonta)

IAN AUSTIN, Staff Photographer

What a pleasant surprise awaited me at Alfresco’s in Oneonta. The wings were served with celery and fresh blue cheese for dippin’, just how I like them. They were great – not greasy, not overcooked and rubbery; they were extremely moist and tasty. The batter they use is so nice and light, at some places I take the skin off because it’s too greasy and chewy. These were perfect! You can get your wings
covered in mozzarella cheese too. (Alfresco’s, 26 Main St.

TARA BARNWELL, General Manager

Local Connections In Slave’s Escape Fills Franklin Stage

Summer Dreams

Local Connections

In Slave’s Escape

Fills Franklin Stage

Final Performances This Weekend • Check
A young Elizabeth Cady Stanton, the future suffragette, has a propitious meeting with Harriet Powell, who recently escaped from bondage through a chance meeting at the Syracuse Hotel. (FSC photo)

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to

FRANKLIN – For “Possessing Harriet” director Leslie Nobel, it was about helping people witness history.

“In her diary, Elizabeth Cady Stanton wrote about meeting Harriet Powell and that the conversation affected her deeply,” Nobel said. “The playwright, Kyle Bass, took dramatic license to imagine that conversation.”

“Possessing Harriet,” which opened to a packed house Thursday, July 11, at the Franklin Stage Company, tells the true story of Harriet Powell, an escaped slave who, while staying with abolitionist Gerrit Smith, meets and speaks with his young cousin, Elizabeth Cady, in the hours before Harriett leaves for Canada.

The play, which Bass had work-shopped at Syracuse University, where he is the director of the drama department, had its world premiere last October with the Syracuse Stage company, where he is the associate artistic director.

“I was able to watch this develop from a one-act play to full-length,” she said. “Though this is a period piece, it’s not a museum piece.”

When Pat Buckley took over the Franklin Stage in 2017, she spent two years producing from a “stash of plays” the company had wanted to perform.

“This year, we read a lot of new plays, and this one really stood out,” she said. “It’s breathtakingly historical, but also modern in the conversation about race, gender, equality and identity.”

All of the characters in the show are real people, including Thomas Leonard, a free man working at the Syracuse Hotel, the Underground Railroad stop where Harriett meets with Gerrit.

“Not a lot was known about him, so Kyle gave him his great-grandfather Joliver Holmes’ story,” said Nobel. “He was a slave in Virginia and escaped to Delhi, then fought in the 26th Regiment in the Civil War. He’s buried in Delhi; you can visit his grave.”

The show is also part of the Franklin Stage Company’s commitment to make its range of shows more inclusive. “While you can cast people of color in classical shows, we wanted to move towards bringing in women’s voices and people of color,” said Buckley.

Bass was able to help cast the show; Gary Kayi-Fletcher, who plays Thomas Leonard, had auditioned for the show in the initial Syracuse run, and Erin Christine Walsh, who plays Elizabeth Cady, had been one of Nobel’s acting students at Syracuse University.

“It was very helpful to have those names,” she said. “And because we’re a union stage, all of them are professional actors.”

And as they were finalizing the show, they had another chance to fully immerse themselves in the period when Harriet and Elizabeth would have had their conversation.

“At the Stagecoach Run, there was an photographer, Melissa Perkins, who uses a tin-type camera,” said Buckley. “We got one done of the cast in their costumes, just like they would have had in 1839.”

This is the second time the show has been performed and into the second week of its three-week run, many of the performances have been sold out.

They’ve also continued their “Talk-Back” program, where the audience is invited to talk with the actors and director after the play. “If the play is good, the audience will see their lives reflected in it and they want to talk about that,” said Buckley.

Bass will be on hand for the final performance on Sunday, July 28 and will be participating in the talk-back.

“There’s a lot to talk about,” said Buckley. “I think that theater is a safe space, because you’re not getting into it with family, you can sit in the dark and reflect.”


By The Lake, By The Beautiful Lake


By The Lake, By

The Beautiful Lake

The Blue Mingo never disappoints. This was my first time there this season; now that the rain has stopped, I hope to get there a few more times before Columbus Day.

Just walking in is a delight. Smart thinking on their part – you walk through a tasteful gift shop where it seems you just need one of everything!  Then starts a delightful lunch sitting outside on the covered deck overlooking Otsego Lake.

If you have nothing else, start with the onion chips. Not rings, but chips!  Fried to perfection, these tender little onion chips get dipped in a tasty combination of Sriracha and mayo with a hint of lemon.  Not sure exactly what that sauce is but it’s really GOOD!

Broadway Musicals Are Nation’s Operas, Glimmerglass Staple

Broadway Musicals

Are Nation’s Operas,

Glimmerglass Staple

Internationally known, the Glimmerglass Festival’s General & Musical Director Francesca Zambello is also artistic director of The Washingtion National Opera at the Kennedy Center. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO,com)

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to

COOPERSTOWN – Since Francesca Zambello became general & music director at the Glimmerglass Festival in 2011, one show has been in the back of her mind.

“I’ve always wanted to do ‘Show Boat’,” she said. “It’s one that I’ve always had on our docket.”

The Oscar Hammerstein-penned musical, which deals with family and racism in post-Reconstruction Mississippi, is set to open the festival season this Saturday, July 6, in a season that includes “La Traviata,” “The Ghosts of Versailles” and the world premier of “Blue,” a new opera by Tony Award winning composer Jeanine Tesori, whose credits include “Fun Home” and “Shrek The Musical.”

“Blue,” commissioned by the Festival, tells the story of a black Harlem police officer and his wife as they deal with the loss of their teenage son in a police-involved shooting.

“It’s an interesting arc from ‘Show Boat’ to ‘Blue,’” said Zambello. “They both deal with issues of race in America, with one written in 1927 and the other in 2019. There’s a thematic connection.”

For her, bringing a musical to the festival was part of bringing in a wider audience. “The musical is America’s opera, and it’s never been fully embraced,” she said. “When we changed the name to the Glimmerglass Festival, I thought a classic musical would encourage new audiences.”

That season, the Festival presented “Annie Get Your Gun,” (1947) starring soprano Deborah Voigt. “It’s a classic American musical,” she said.

Since then, the Festival has staged “Camelot,” “Carousel,” “Oklahoma,” “The Music Man” and
“West Side Story.”

“‘West Side Story’ was the most tickets we’ve ever sold,” she said. “We added three shows. It’s in people’s DNA.”

The Festival’s production of “West Side Story” just finished in Chicago and is headed to Italy. “Our ‘Porgy and Bess’ played in Cincinnati, and after this season, ‘Ghost of Versailles’ will be performed at Versailles, and ‘Blue’ will head to Chicago and Washington D.C.” said Zambello. “These productions carry our brand and our way of thinking all over the world.”

And the Festival’s unique space lends itself well to the traditional musical. “So many of them were written without major amplification,” she said. “They were written for big voices and a big orchestra. When ‘Show Boat’ was first performed, it was likely performed by people who had opera training.”

“When you see a Broadway show,” she continued, “or a revival on tour, if you hear 22 musicians it’s a miracle. You’re basically having an acoustic experience.”

The musicals also serve as a bridge for the Festival’s Young Artists and musical theater interns. “There’s a cross-pollination there,” she said. “And four of our Young Artists are doing musical theater on Broadway right now.”

In addition to performances at the Festival, “Show Boat” will also be performed at Attica Correctional Facility as part of the Festival’s commitment to outreach and social justice.

“The Constitution says ‘We The People,’” she said. “We think about that a lot here.”

So far, Zambello said, tickets have been selling well, with several shows already sold out. “We don’t want you to be disappointed that you can’t get tickets,” she said. “And last year, we had a lot of disappointed people.”

A Million Books, Ready To Read At 139 Main St.

Antiquarian Book Fair At 25

A Million Books,

Ready To Read

At 139 Main St.

The Monies – son Willis  and dad Will, an Antiquarian book Fair founder – have one million books in their 139 Main St. store, a former auto dealership. 125,000 of them are also listed online. (Jim Kevlin/

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to

COOPERSTOWN – Dad Will Monie and son Willis don’t minimize challenges to the book business, but the Internet Age has also opened up opportunities.

Willis Monie Books has one million volumes in its building at 139 Main St., easily available to the half-million visitors who come to Cooperstown annually, plus the 60,000 county residents.

Of the total, 125,000 books are online, and they are available to the 320 billion people worldwide – 81 percent of the developed world; more than half of all humankind – expected to be on the Internet by year’s end.

Vendors Reveal Favorite Flavors, How To Mix ‘Em


Vendors Reveal

Favorite Flavors,

How To Mix ‘Em

Katie Entwistle-Eddy samples Black Cherry ice cream on one of Mr. Shake’s homemade waffle cones. In the background, you can see the fountain on the redone miniature golf course. (Ian Austin/SUMMER DREAMS)

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to

RICHFIELD SPRINGS – Growing up, Katie Entwistle-Eddy knew if she wanted a cold treat on a hot summer day, Mr. Shake on Route 28 was the place to go.

“This place has been here for more than 30 years,” she said. “Whenever my family went out for ice cream, we came here.”

Later, she got a job there.

In the window at Oneonta’s Lizard Lick, Cheyanne Horth offers one of the specialty ice-cream sandwiches, made from those luscious M&M cookies from owner Dave Zummo’s nearby Latte Lounge

And, in 2015, her parents Jim and Beth bought the ice cream parlor and mini golf course from owner Rich Hiltz. “I worked here for so long that it made sense for me to run it,” said Katie.

Though Hiltz used homemade ice cream, Entwistle-Eddy switched to Perry’s, Turkey Hill and Gifford’s ice cream to expand the flavor options – and offerings.

“We make our own waffle cones, so we do a waffle taco sundae,” she said. “Your choice of ice cream, plus two toppings.”

You can also get a cold one for your faithful friend: a scoop of soft vanilla with a dog bone.

On average, Mr. Shake goes through 200 gallons of soft-serve a week, including wild flavors like pistachio and orange creamsicle, plus 45 gallons of hard ice cream over 15 flavors.

But you don’t just go for ice cream – once you finish your cone, you can play a round of mini-golf on one of the newest courses in the county. “When we bought it, we demolished the old course,” Katie said. “We had it completely rebuilt.”

The new course, she said, even features a waterfall.

Red Shed Brewery’s Mix Includes Music, Prize-Winning Beer

Red Shed Brewery’s Mix

Includes Music, Trivia

Prize-Winning Brewskies

Dave Olson and wife Suzanne moved from Pittsburgh, Pa., to Otsego County to partner with her father, Jack Hasbrouck, in expanding the Red Shed brewery into a second site on Route 33, south of Cooperstown. (Ian Austin/SUMMER DREAMS


Jack Hasbrouck pauses in the doorway of the ORIGINAL Red Shed, now a seasonal tasting room tucked in the hills of Cherry Valley.


David Olson calls the Red Shed Brewery’s Otsego Golden Ale a “quit your job” beer.

“My wife Suzanne and I had been living in Pittsburgh and we would come up to see her father, Jack Hasbrouck, who made home-brewed beer,” he said. “We wanted to move closer to family, but when I had that Otsego Golden Ale, I thought, ‘We could sell this.’”

The expanded Red Shed – it’s opened for its second summer at 709 Route 33 south of Cooperstown, just up the road from Brewery Ommegang – with a dozen of its own beers on tap.

They include the award-winning Jessica’s Red, which took silver at the New York State Craft Brewers conference. “It’s made with a rye, so it imparts a spicy flavor,” said Jack, who opened Red Shed in an actual red shed in 2015 on a hilltop above Middlefield Center.

“When we were living in Pittsburgh, we would get up early, drop Anders and Ellis at daycare, work late and pick them up,” he said. “We realized that wasn’t the best long-term plan.”

They enjoyed visiting Jack and drinking his home-brew, and after a sip of his Otsego Golden, David got the idea to market it. “I could see myself buying a six-pack of that at a store,” he said. “So we packed up the kids, the cat, the dog and the fish and moved into Jack’s house.”

Jack, who had sold his landscaping business in New Mexico, moved to the hilltop farm a half-dozen years ago; his sister lives in Stamford. “I used to brew in New Mexico,” he said. “When I moved up here, I got a farm brew license.”

From there, he opened the original Red Shed, at 817 Butterbowl Road, now a summertime tasting room open on weekends only. Next door, he built a whole new draft system to enable Matt Wayland to brew and store beer. The Route 33 brewpub, meanwhile, is open year-‘round.

“We designed the building so we can accommodate music,” said David. “When we first got in here, you could run your hand along the ceiling, it was that low.”

The ceiling was raised and a portable stage installed to host music every Saturday night, 52 weeks a year, as well as an active trivia scene every Thursday.

And a $437,000 CFA – a state economic development grant – announced last December for what was called the Red Shed Brewery Experience, to further expand musical offerings.

“We’ve tasked ourselves with driving tourism and creating events,” David said. “We want to be part of people’s stories, their events, their vacations.”

The patio and entertainment area will also be the site of the upcoming “Camo-Lot,” an Upstate take on
the Renaissance Faire on Saturday, Aug. 8, and an Octoberfest, planned for the last week of September.

“We’re going to have a polka band,” said David. “And we’re bringing back the dachshund parade. All dogs are welcome, of course, but last year, we had 20 dachshunds leading the parade.”

The new brewery is designed to be family-friendly, with an outdoor patio, a fire pit and a closet full of board games, from Candyland to Cards Against Humanity.

And although food was always available from the “little kitchen,” this year a farm-to-table food truck opened Monday, June 10. “When we first opened, we had snacks, but people would come in and ask for food, and we’d have to say we didn’t have any,” he said. “They would walk right out.”

The menu is locally sourced, the food fresh. “It’s going to be local beef, local buns, local vegetables,” he said. “I mean, what goes better with a beer than a cheeseburger?”

In addition to its own brews, the Red Shed also aims to support small breweries by going “keg-for-keg.” “We want to get other farm breweries that aren’t in distribution,” said David. “And we sell growlers.”

But you don’t have to give two weeks’ notice to enjoy an Otsego Golden Ale. “It’s a clean, simple, easy-drinking beer,” he said. “It pairs well with any thirst.”

FINE, FUN FOOD: Veal, Spiced Duck At Horned Dorset


Veal, Spiced Duck

At Horned Dorset

The Husband and I had the pleasure of dining at The Horned Dorset last week. It was everything everyone said it would be – great food, great service, elegant atmosphere, pricey and well worth every cent.
To start they serve a warm crock of homemade cheddar spread (a secret recipe they have made for 42 years) and homemade crackers. Then a salad course with lettuces, yellow beets, sunchokes.
We both took advantage of the chef’s specials for appetizers. Hub’s appetizer was the Gnocchi Parisienne – tender gnocchi with oyster mushrooms, fresh ramps, shaved parmesan and he added the rabbit confit. I had the Asparagus Vichyssoise – potato/asparagus soup with shrimp and a bit of creme fraiche artily drizzled on top.
Hub’s main course was also a special offering – Veal Medallions with a local free range fried egg and grilled foie gras. My choice from the regular menu was the Spiced Duck, which was half a duck, very lightly spiced (I expected spicier) over a bed of vegetables and an artful smear of sweet potato mash.
A nice bottle of 2012 Bordeaux topped off the meal, along with Tahitian Vanilla ice cream for him, Passion Fruit sorbet for me.
I am glad we did not order the dark chocolate mousse special for dessert. It takes extra time to prepare, so you have to order it when you put in your meal order. Too tough a decision for that early on, so we passed even though it sounded fantastic. We were both so full after dinner that even the small bowl of ice cream/sorbet was tough to finish.
Be prepared for a long leisurely meal. We were there for nearly three hours, but it was a pleasant wait and the servers were very attentive.
We were in the Library Room along with some bookshelves, stained glass windows, a grand piano, and at least one large painting of (what else?) sheep. I am guessing they were dorsets, but I didn’t get up to take a closer look. (2000 Route 8, Leonardsville. Closed Mon.-Tues. 315-855-7898)

KATHLEEN PETERS, Graphic Designer

Sometimes, a girl just wants a cheese board. Nothing fancy, nothing too heavy, just some creamy Upstate cheeses – and that’s where Roots Brewing Company comes in! Their Upstate Ploughman’s gives you four artisanal cheeses, locally made bread, jam and olives, plus tangy pickled onions. I never thought I’d try them, but I was surprised at just how tasty they were! Pairs well with an Awestruck
Hibiscus Ginger cider for a light, easy meal, or try one of their hearty home-brews. (175 Main St, Oneonta. 607-433-2925)

LIBBY CUDMORE, Managing Editor

When I’m wrong, I admit it (usually!). I’ve only gone to Golden Guernsey for their fabulous ice cream. I thought that was what Golden Guernsey was all about. I was wrong, as made evident by the massive amount of people that had stopped by for lunch this day! They have a nice selection of quick, go-to-mostly-comfort-food on the menu, with daily specials. I chose the special that day, a roasted pork
sandwich topped with melted mozzarella cheese on a really fresh bun. It was topped with stoneground mustard that melded the tastes!
The fries were nice and crunchy, not soggy or over-cooked, and the soup my friend had was a nice creamy chicken and rice – definitely homemade. (Golden Guernsey 15 Main St., Oneonta 607-432-7209)

TARA BARNWELL, General Manager

Find a refreshing midday meal in the heat of summer at the Fly Creek General Store. Stop to fill up with gas, meet a few regulars, and pick up a delicious potato salad at the deli. The cooling salad has delicious potatoes, egg whites, and flavor from celery and onion. Perfect to take out for a picnic one of these hot summery days. (Fly Creek General Store, 6212 NY-28, Fly Creek. 607-547-7274)

LARISSA RYAN, Office Manager

I often order the Chicken Teriyaki Bento Box dinner entree at Tokyo Tavern in Oneonta when I go with my family because I enjoy eating five of the six foods out of what’s a sort of chic TV dinner tray.
Nestled in the box’s five compartments are slices of grilled chicken breast drizzled with Teriyaki sauce (you can choose steak or salmon as well), a handful of edamame pods, a salad, your choice of white, brown or fried rice (I get brown), and six California sushi pieces, complete with slivers
of pickled ginger and Wasabi. The food is healthy and light, leaving me room for dessert. (Tokyo Tavern, 211 Main St, Oneonta)

JENNIFER HILL, Staff Reporter

THINGS TO DO: Lumberjacks, Jazz, Rock & Roll Guitar


Something For Every Dad,

From Lumberjack To Daddy-O

Show Dad how much you care with whirring chainsaws, enormous hacksaws, a rodeo, live music and more outdoorsy fun at the annual Lumberjack Fest. Friday-Sunday, June 14-16, Alden Field, Cherry Valley. Info, full schedule,

Think your dad rocks? Check out two events themed around the “Herb Ritts: The Rock Portraits” exhibit at The Fenimore Art Museum this weekend. On Friday, catch a screening of Jamie Foxx in “Ray.” $5 members $7 non-members, 6:30 p.m. Friday, June 14 in the auditorium.
And on Saturday, Tom Lieber presents “The Art of the Guitar,” a peek at instruments he made for Jerry Garcia, Pete Sears and others. $50/$45 members, 6 p.m. Saturday, June 15.
But if you just want to look around, basic admission to The Fenimore and The Farmers’ Museum is free for dads and granddads. Fenimore Art Museum, 5798 NY-80 & Farmers’ Museum, 5775 NY-80, Cooperstown. Info 607-547-1472.

But if your father’s more of the Daddy-O type, treat him to an evening of brand new jazz by the Blake Fleming Trio. 7:30 p.m. Friday, June 14, The Star Theater, 44 Main Street, Cherry
Valley. Info

The annual summer series at the Swart-Wilcox opens with “The Man of the House,” a program that offers Henry Wilcox’s 1867-1911 diaries’ excerpts to show drastic changes in that role since. Refreshments, house tours. Free, 1-3 p.m. Sunday, June 16, Swart-Wilcox House, Wilcox Ave., Oneonta.

Tour an old-fashioned country fair and help the Pierstown Grange with their rebuilding efforts. Plants, baked goods and other items for sale. 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Saturday, June 15. Pierstown Grange, 137 Wedderspoon Hollow Road, Cooperstown. Info 607-547-8261.

And for more old-fashioned fun, the Hanford Mills Museum offers a Free Family day with hands-on activities. 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Saturday, June 15, 51 County Hwy. 12, East Meredith. Info,, 607-278-5744.

Can’t do all sorts of fun stuff over the weekend if you don’t start the day with a hearty breakfast! The Middlefield Volunteer Fire Department hosts all-you-can-eat pancakes with plenty of food to fill your plate – and stomach! $7.50 adults, $5 under 12. 7:30 – 11 a.m. Saturday, June 15, Cooperstown/Westville Airport, Rte/ 166. Cooperstown.

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21 Railroad Ave. Cooperstown, New York 13326 • (607) 547-6103