News of Otsego County

Serving Otsego County, NY, through the combined reporting of Cooperstown's Freeman's Journal and the Hometown Oneonta newspapers.


Summer Dreams

Seventh-Inning Stretch’s Carfagno Upgrades Store, Attracts Mariano


Seventh-Inning Stretch’s Carfagno

Upgrades Store, Attracts Mariano

This week’s Summer Dreams cover story focuses on veteran baseball merchant Vincent Carfagno, who close his Seventh-Inning Stretch over the winter for two months of renovations. Check out his philosophy – and his merchandise.
Let’s Go To Concerts, Drink Beer Or 2, Raise Money For Good Cause


Let’s Go To Concerts,

Drink Beer Or 2, Raise

Money For Good Cause

By LIBBY CUDMORE • for Summer Dreams

Not only are there some great concerts planned this weekend, there are great fundraisers too. Support arts, animals, raise a glass and  hit the dance floor!

Strike while the iron is hot – literally!

The Farmers’ Museum hosts a Blacksmithing Weekend – different! – with demonstrations on making traditional farm tools. Free with admission. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday-Sunday, June 7-9, The Farmers’ Museum, 5775 NY Rte. 80, Cooperstown. Info, 607-547-1450.

What’s a rock and roll exhibit without some music? The Hudson Valley band, Upstate, will play a free show at The Farmers’ Museum’s Louis C. Jones Center in conjunction with The Fenimore Art Museum’s Herb Ritts exhibit, 7-9 p.m Friday, June 7. The Farmers’ Museum, 5775 NY Rte. 80, Cooperstown. Info 607-264-2626

Rock band FLAME performs a free concert as part of the Family Resource Network’s 25th anniversary celebration. These talented performers celebrate the “ability” in “disability.” 3-5 p.m. Saturday, June 8, Foothills Performing Arts Center, 24 Market St., Oneonta.

Experience the excitement of a day at the track without ever having to leave Cooperstown! The Smithy Gallery’s fundraising event, “Triple Crown Infield Fest,” will feature Belmont Stakes screening, silent auction, refreshments, and more. $55-$65/adult. 5-8 p.m. Saturday, June 8, The Smithy Gallery & Clay Studio, 55 Pioneer St., Cooperstown. Info, 607-547-8671,

Taste up to 10 local brews and help raise money for a new animal shelter
with the HOPS Brewclub’s Hops for Hounds fundraiser to benefit Super Heroes in Ripped Jeans. $25 gets you tastings and a commemorative glass!
1-4 p.m. Saturday, June 8, American Legion, 279 Chestnut St., Oneonta. Info, 607-441-3227

Enjoy an ice cream social and stick around for a concert! The Exeter Historical Society and the Schuyler Lake Fire Department host a concert by Brother’s Blue. 2-3:30 p.m. ice cream social, Exeter Historical Society, Corner of Rtes. 28 and 22, Schuyler Lake. Info 315-858-3138. 3:30 p.m. concert, ($10 suggested donation) Old Stone Church, 7370 State Highway 28, Schuyler Lake. Info 315-855-9949.

Bring home one-of-a-kind handcrafted gifts, tasty baked goods from the annual Church for Christ Uniting Friendship Craft Festival, 9-3, Saturday, June 8, Route 20 and Church Street, Richfield Springs. Info 315 858-1451.

Have a Best Bet? Send an email to Libby at

From Funghi Formaggi To Panina, Tuna Sandwich


From Funghi Formaggi

To Panina, Tuna Sandwich

Editor’s Note:  Here are mini-reviews of local restaurants submitted by the Summer Dreams’ staff.

Bocca has always been one of my favorite places to dine in Cooperstown! If it’s really nice out, they have outside seating, just perfect for lunch and warmer nights.

If you want to a different kind of appetizer, order the Tonno. It’s a grilled ahi tuna on a toasted guacamole crostini then topped with corn salsa and wasabi cream.

My mouth is watering just thinking about it! The Calamari Fritti is delicious as well, it’s served with hot cherry peppers that add a nice spiciness to the calamari.

For the kids, they have a great menu that spans from chicken strips to rigatoni to pizza (made right at your table). But for the adults…you’ve got to try the Risotto Alla Pescatora. They take shrimp and scallops, roast them, add in spinach risotto and wait for it…toss it in a white truffle cream sauce!

Simply delicious.

Bocca has an authentic pizza oven direct from Italy that cooks your pizza in minutes. My favorite? Funghi Formaggi – shredded fresh mozzarella, smoked gouda, Portobello porcini, truffled mushrooms topped with parm and reggiano. Oh so good! (Bocca Osteria, 5438 State Highway 28, Cooperstown)

TARA BARNWELL, General Manager

When you want a tuna sandwich, sometimes it’s because you plan to eat light.

Too light? Well, no. But not a honking sandwich with all the sides, either.

That’s where The Jive Café comes in.

Located in Cooperstown Commons on Route 28, en route from Dreams Park to Cooperstown, it’s convenient.

And the tuna sandwich is just right, grilled on substantial bread, but not too substantial. Enough tuna to feel you’d had a lunch, without feeling stuffed.

Fresh potato chips, a pickle. That’s it.

I’m a fan of the tuna, but there’s a selection of 10 sandwiches and paninis, including, if you have an appetite, “create your own custom deli sandwich.”

The Jive’s open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., and breakfast – from bagels to omelettes – is served all day. (For the adventurous, there’s the Jivin’ Egg – jalapeños, baby).

In other words, it’s worth a stop. (Jive Café, 12 Commons Dr, Cooperstown)

JIM KEVLIN, Editor/Publisher

Stagecoach has always been my go-to for an afternoon pick me up, but with their recent renovation, it’s an even nicer place to meet a friend for coffee and a sandwich!

Whenever I stop in, I always get the veggie panini, overstuffed with roasted red peppers, artichoke hearts, tomatoes and pesto, toasted golden brown and gooey with sharp cheddar. And since you’ve already had your vegetables, go ahead and get the chips as the side!

The service is quick but the atmosphere is leisurely, so get a large latte and sit out on the patio for a
lunch worth savoring. (Stagecoach Coffee, 31 Pioneer St #2, Cooperstown.)

LIBBY CUDMORE, Managing Editor

Experience the beauty of Otsego Lake while enjoying delectable fettuccine offered by the Lakefront Restaurant.

The pasta is soft and the sauce just the right amount of cheesy. If you order the sun-dried tomato pesto fettuccine you get a comfort food with a flavorful tang. Want more goodness?

Add some chicken or shrimp and enjoy. (Lakefront Restaurant, 10 Fair St, Cooperstown.)

LARISSA RYAN, Office Manager


Seventh-Inning Stretch, Newly Upgraded, Hosts Mariano Rivera Signing


Seventh-Inning Stretch,

Newly Upgraded, Hosts

Mariano Rivera Signing

Seventh-Inning Stretch proprietor Vincent Carfagno shows off a p rint that hung in George Steinbrenner’s old office at Yankee Stadium. “I remember seeing it in his office,” he said. (Ian Austin/SUMMER DREAMS)


What do you get the Red Sox fan who has everything? How about a piece of Fenway Park?

COOPERSTOWN – Vincent Carfagno knows the importance of service with a smile.

“I had Mariano Rivera here for a signing and, when I drove him to the airport, I told him he was going to the Hall of Fame,” he said. “This year, when he was doing his walkthrough in January, I went over there and gave him a big smile – he came over, gave me a hug and said ‘It’s good to see you.’”

Carfagno, the owner of Seventh Inning Stretch, will have an exclusive signing with the Hall of Famer on Monday, July 22. “Mariano’s agent called me up and said that he said, ‘If I have to do a signing, I’ll only work with Vinnie,’” he said.

Mariano Rivera’s admirer opened the store in the former Smalley’s Theatre in 1995. “When I got here, I rented 550 square feet and sold baseball cards,” he said. “There was a bookstore in the back and a few other stores.”

What’s Your Choice? From 38 Special To, Yes, Borodin


What’s Your Choice? From

38 Special To, Yes, Borodin


Summer has arrived in Otsego County and there is so much to do! Whether you’re looking to shop, learn, listen or celebrate, there is something fun every day of the weekend!

Start your summer off in a rockin’ mood as “Caught Up In You” and “Hold on Loosely” stars 38 Special perform the Celebrity Concert fundraiser for the Oneonta YMCA. Tickets, $20-$225. 5 p.m. Thursday, May 30, 6th ward Booster Club Field, Oneonta.  Info,

If the symphony is more your musical style, the Little Delaware Youth Ensemble plays Mozart, Borodin, Beethoven and Faure. Reception to follow. 3 p.m.  Sunday, June 2, Foothills Atrium, 24 Market St., Oneonta. Info,

And while you’re in the mood for music – whatever you listen to – swing by The Fenimore Art Museum for your’s truly Libby Cudmore’s talk on music and memory, including personal stories from my career as a music critic! 2 p.m. Saturday, June 1, Fenimore Art Museum, 5798 Route 80, Cooperstown.  Info, 607-547-1400,

Pride Month kicks off with a rally, a family-friendly festival and fireworks. Celebrate who you are and show your alliance to the LGBTQA community. 2 p.m. Saturday, June 1, Neahwa Park. Info,

Artist Joseph Kurhajec may work in paints and prints, but he also builds toys! He’ll show off some of his original designs and discuss vintage toy-making books. 3-5 p.m. Saturday, June 1, Bright Hill Literary Center, Treadwell. Info,

With gardening season in full bloom, there’s still time to pick up some new plants at Unitarian Universalist Society’s annual plant and book sale. After noon, everything you can fit in a bag will only cost you a buck! 10 a.m. Unitarian Universalist Society of Oneonta, 12 Ford Ave, Oneonta. Info,, (607) 432-3491.

Cheer on the hard-hitting gals of the Hill City Rollers as they take on the Ladies Death & Derby in a high-speed roller derby bout. Admission by donation. 2 p.m. Sunday, June 2, Interskate 88, 5185 Route 23, Oneonta. Info,

Tell Libby about things to do at




Try Treats From Clam Strips To Steaks With Blue Cheese


Try Treats From Clam Strips

To Steaks With Blue Cheese

Editor’s Note: SUMMER DREAMS writers are reporting weekly on some of their favorite dishes in local restaurants.

Remember clam strips from Howard Johnson’s heyday?

You don’t find them many places these days, particularly of a quality that bring back long-ago memories, but you’d run across such an offering at The Farmhouse Restaurant in Emmons, just off Interstate 88’s Exit 14.

They’re clam strips are sweet, moist – just like you remember. They’re listed as an appetizer, but you can add French fires and cole slaw and make it a main course.

JIM KEVLIN, Editor & Publisher

What is it about sunshine that always makes me crave sushi? Whatever it is, I know that when I need my summer fix, I go to Mt. Fuji and pick up a couple of hand rolls and a seaweed salad, perfect for a light lunch on a warm day. Try either the Dragon Roll or the Eel Avocado if you’re feeling adventurous! And if you’re in the mood for something a little more substantial, they offer a great bento box that comes with teriyaki or tempura, a California roll, a salad and rice. And if you’ve got a big party, why not sit at one of the Hibachi tables and watch the chef make his magic before your eyes? (Mt. Fuji, 134 Main St, Cooperstown. (607) 544-1088)

LIBBY CUDMORE, Managing Editor

If you’re looking for pizza, stop by New York Pizzeria on Chestnut Street. Their service is always speedy and the pizzas delicious. I like the pepperoni pizza with sausage and black olives. They always have a robust flavor while the black olives add a tang to delight the senses. That plus the just crunchy enough crust is enough to make my family a regular at the New York Pizzeria. (New York Pizzaria, 75 Chestnut St, Cooperstown. (607) 547-2930)

LARISSA RYAN, Business Manager

I can attribute Jay’s Place on Oneonta’s West end for finally solidifying my late-blooming appreciation of both blue cheese and rare steaks. Long before I avoided both like the plague; the idea of pink meat and pungent cheese wrinkled my nose. But it was Jay’s sirloin topped with bacon garlic blue cheese that finally made a believer out of me. They were also the place that made me love calamari, with their basket of lightly panko-encrusted calamari. This hidden little gem has become one of the key places my wife and I go for a special occasion not only for it’s amazingly tasteful food, but because it’s slightly hidden location lends itself to a more relaxed atmosphere when you don’t want the chaos of a more centrally located eatery. (Jay’s Place, 3200 Chestnut St # 113, Oneonta. (607) 432-9584)

IAN AUSTIN, Staff Photographer

If you’re looking for a delicious meal while still counting calories, try the Apple Endive Salad and the Red Pepper and Gouda Soup at Ken’s American Cafe. They both offered smorgasbords of flavors that boosted my energy.

Besides endive, the salad had sliced granny apples, shaved sharp cheddar, and wheat beer dressing.  The dressing offered some sweetness to balance out the endive’s slight bitterness and the tang, and the cheddar added some savory.

The soup had roasted red peppers, onions, garlic, and smoked Gouda.  The flavors together gave a rich, toasty taste, with the Gouda giving a sweet, creamy finish.

It goes without saying that I will be going back to Ken’s for those dishes again, and I may even try some of the other items! (Ken’s American Café, 748 NY-28, Oneonta. (607) 267-4670.


THIS WEEK’S NEWSPAPERS – May 30-31, 2019


The Freeman’s Journal • Hometown Oneonta

May 30-31, 2019


In the midst of the back-and-forth about the future of the former CVS property at 100 Main St., Cooperstown’s Rena Lull shared a copy of the December 1984 edition of Town & Country magazine, which featured a shopping tour of the downtown by the former Mary “Cissie” Busch Hager, who was also featured in the cover photo and a feature story on the Hager family of Cooperstown. The variety of shops downtown was impressive. Clockwise from upper left are The
Gazebo gift shop; The Market Place deli; Around the House, doll house miniatures, antique toy replicas and Christmas ornaments; Augur’s Bookstore; Terrace Café; Church & Scott pharmacy; the Baseball Hall of Fame; Bland’s Sporting Goods; The Short Stop coffee shop; Straws & Sweets, handmade candles, wicker baskets and party decorations; Schneider’s Bakery, and the Red Nugget Ice Cream Saloon. It HAS been 35 years, but only the Hall of Fame and Schneider’s remain downtown, and Church & Scott at the south end of town. ( photo)


For Calif. Baseball Family, Dream Come True

Milford UM Awaits ‘Starkly Beautiful’ Church

Net-Zero Apartments Planned For Cooperstown

Unfunded, RSS Still Bullish On Riverside Project

Son Succeeds Mom/Business Partner On MCS Board

Village Adopts Noise Ordinance Just In Time

SUNY-O’s College Foundation Praised Again


The Downtown That Was … And Might Be Again


KUZMINSKI: Can Only Small Business Save Us?

BBJN.COM: If In Rome, Why Not Cooperstown?


SEELEY: Nothing Perfect, But Greens Seek Answers


BOUND VOLUMES: May 30, 2019



‘Shoebox Treasures’ Has It All On Cards

FINE, FUN FOOD: Try Farmhouse’s Clams

THINGS TO DO:  38 Special To Borodin


Bonnie Jo Farmer, 86; Pastor Mel’s Wife Ran Eatery

Virginia ‘Gina’ Dwyer, 88; Mother Of 9, Then Teacher

Tom Armstrong, 92; ‘Mr. Springfield’ For Decades

Bill Dornburgh, 87; Banker Predicted Focus Failure




Summer Dreams supplement back in Hometown, Freeman’s


‘Summer Dreams’ Supplement

Features Fun Things To Do Here

With Cooperstown All Star Village and Dreams Park welcoming youth teams Friday, the “Summer Dreams” supplement will be published weekly in Hometown Oneonta & The Freeman’s Journal through the summer. This week, the Hall of Fame’s new exhibit, “Shoebox Treasures,” is featured, plus restaurant reviews and things to do.
Things-To-Do Supplement Explores ‘New’ Ommegang

Things-To-Do Supplement

Explores ‘New’ Ommegang

Brewery Ommegang’s $2 million expansion is highlighted in this week’s Summer Dreams, the things-to-do supplement to Hometown Oneonta and The Freeman’s Journal. Tour the expanded operation with Dave Neil, the brewery’s new director of hospitality (and proprietor of the former Hoffman Lane Bistro and other establishments in Cooperstown). Pick up this week’s newspaper, or look for stand-alone racks at high traffic tourist venues.
‘Summer Dreams’ To Serve Tourists – And Rest Of Us

‘Summer Dreams’

To Serve Tourists

– And Rest Of Us

A new “Summer Dreams” publication, aimed at serving Otsego County’s summer visitors and the rest of us who partake of the county’s summer offerings, will appear in this week’s Hometown Oneonta and The Freeman’s Journal.  New editions will appear weekly through Labor Day.

A new weekly publication, “Summer Dreams,” aimed at highlighting Greater Cooperstown and Oneonta’s summer offerings, will appear in this week’s editions of Hometown Oneonta and The Freeman’s Journal.

In addition to reaching 13,000 households in our regular weekly distribution, an additional 2,000 copies are being printed and made available to tourists and youth-baseball-park participants.  The 13,000 distribution is already the largest print footprint in the county, and this will be enhanced to 15,000, according to Editor/Publisher Jim Kevlin.

Beginning today, the new publication will also be posted on, where it will be accessible to 40,000 weekly visitors, and promoted on the allotsego Facebook page, where more than 20,000 visitors participate weekly.

“Information about happenings in Otsego County will be useful, of course, to all of us looking to have some fun.  But ‘Summer Dreams’ is also a powerful vehicle for advertisers looking to connect with customers and potential new customers,” Kevlin said.

If you are interested in advertising in “Summer Dreams”, call 607-547-6103 and ask for Tara Barnwell or Thom Rhodes, or e-mail them at or


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