Developers eye kitchen, tasting room at Harvester Center | outstanding story

BATAVIA — There is a plan to make space toward the south end of the Harvest Center for not only a restaurant/tasting room, but for a second potential tenant to operate a kitchen.

Harvester property manager Jarrod Clark says the restaurant/tasting room would be run by Bill and Michelle Snyder, owners of Windy Brew in Strykersville. Clark said there is a proposal from the unidentified tenant. The prospective tenant wants to operate the kitchen for food trucks and for bakers and others who want to prepare food, but do not have a state-approved kitchen to use. It would be next to the space where the Snyders’ restaurant/tasting room would be. The two businesses would be separate, but the plan is for the Snyders to be able to use the kitchen to prepare food, Clark said.

“They are very interested in doing this. It’s going to be more of a commercial kitchen, which is a community kitchen for food trucks. That’s the idea for it,” Clark said last week. He said the kitchen would be in what is now the Harvester Center maintenance room. The Snyders’ restaurant/tasting room would be next to the kitchen.

“Just the way the infrastructure is in the building, it makes more sense. They’re kind of working with each other. They’re also going to feed off each other,” Clark said.

The kitchen would have space for multiple users, the property manager said.

“There may be some seats too. We are really lacking a bakery in Batavia so we are trying to find someone willing to operate a bakery there. We have a great Italian heritage here. Where do you go to buy fresh Italian bread? That would be a great benefit: cookies, cakes, things like that,” she said.

Clark said the idea is to have a kitchen that multiple people can use to prepare their food in the morning, take it out in their food truck, run their food truck, and then come back, clean their utensils, place their order, and have their stuff. delivered to a real facility.

“That’s the biggest hurdle food trucks have in general. You go to Buffalo or Rochester, that’s already happening. There are many different places that you can operate for a community kitchen,” she said. “We don’t have that here.”

Clark said it’s expensive to run a bakery.

“You have to be there early in the morning. It’s hard to find help. You have to have good recipes and you have to have an outlet,” she said. “When you have some contacts and some people that you’re working with, and you also have people coming in who may be visiting some of the other kitchens, you have an outlet to sell your product and it’s not all up to you. You are not the only one paying the gas bill. You are not the only one paying the electricity bill. The idea would be to get some sort of tenant that is a bakery, then possibly add three or four food trucks in there and there should be enough space where you could have a small take-out-only Mexican restaurant or an Italian restaurant. It would basically be takeout…”

Clark said the bakery and food trucks would be key to the kitchen next door to Snyders’ restaurant/tasting room.

“When you walk in, you’re going to walk into a foyer,” he said. “It’s going to have double doors to go directly into the tasting room or it’s going to have a single door to go into the communal kitchen, which will have a small dining area in the front. It will mainly be a collection area to pick up food, if people operate from there and order takeout. The potential tenant we have to operate the kitchen has identified a potential bakery. He has tentatively secured one once the kitchen is up and running.”

Clark said his goal is in part to “open up the building to the citizens of Batavia.”

“I can’t explain how many people I know who have never been in the building. It’s been there for over 100 years,” she said.

“It really got Batavia going at the end of the 19th century. They had almost 3,000 people working there. (The Harvester Building) bleeds history,” CLark said.

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