The new craft brewery in Honeoye is now open and ready to stretch its wings
HONEOYE — Long before their craft brewery took wing, Scott Gillen and Greg Searles, along with the rest of the community, knew about the man who owned the building on Main Street and lined his front porch with the birdhouses he built.
Some knew it as the bird haven. Others refer to it as the birdhouse place.
And now that Gillen and Searles own it, they kept the avian theme and called their craft beer operation Birdhouse Brewing Co., which opened to friends and family over the Memorial Day weekend.
Gillen and Searles have been birds of a feather for some time. They’ve been friends since elementary school and both went to Honeoye Central.
“Growing up in Honeoye, we wanted to do something here,” Gillen said. “It’s a great little Finger Lake and there’s some neat people in town already doing some things. Hopefully, we’re going to be able to add to that.”
Both want to build on the good things already started by the likes of the Cornerstone Market and Mill Creek Cafe, as well as Noble Shepherd Brewing just outside the hamlet. Soon to be added into the mix is Twisted Rail Brewing Co., which is looking to open a fourth location soon on Honeoye Lake.
“I feel like Honeoye’s starting to grow a little bit,” Searles said.
Searles is the brewer, albeit one admittedly still fine-tuning the craft. The one-barrel brewing system will produce small batches, along with the flagship beer, Bird on a Wire IPA.
A blonde ale, porter and saisson are in the fermenter, he said, almost ready to go.
“This is the first time I’m doing it on a commercial scale,” Searles said. “It’s been going good.”
Gillen handles the cooking here, at least when the kitchen is open Thursdays to Saturdays. Bavarian pretzels, homemade Hungarian chicken paprikash, Asian pork taco and other items are meant to complement the beer and will change as the beer itself changes out.
“We’ll continue to rotate through the menu depending on what’s fresh and what goes well with the beer we have on tap,” Gillen said.
Both also handled the renovations, which took longer than expected. They were expecting six months, but instead, they opened recently after 18 months.
It's surprisingly spacious inside; plus, they built an outdoor deck and soon enough will be offering outdoor service to customers.
The effort, they said, was worth it.
“We looked at it and we thought it made an awesome spot for a brewery,” Gillen said. “From the time we’ve been in, we’ve just moved forward and done the best we can with what we have to work with.”
And they are, excuse the pun, ready to fly.
Birdhouse Brewing Co. is at 8716 Main St., Honeoye. When stopping by for pickup please adhere to governmental guidelines by wearing a face covering and maintaining six feet of distance.
Hours are Wednesdays, 3 to 7 p.m. (kitchen closed); Thursdays, 3 to 7 p.m.; Fridays, noon to 7 p.m.; Saturdays, noon to 7 p.m.; and Sundays, noon to 4 p.m. (kitchen closed). It's closed Mondays and Tuesdays.
Finger Lakes Visitors Connection, the official tourism promotion agency for Ontario County, has created an outdoor dining guide on its website at VisitFingerLakes.com/FLXtogo/Outdoor-Dining.
The list is a one-stop resource of public restaurants that are offering outside dining options. It will be updated often as more Ontario County businesses start to offer outdoor dining.
For those looking for an outdoor seating space to enjoy their curbside and to-go Ontario County restaurant options, the tourism bureau also curated a list of outdoor places to find open space to enjoy your to-go order, said Valerie Knoblauch, president and CEO of the Finger Lakes Visitors Connection.
“We can't guarantee seating, but we can guarantee open space and some pretty good views and people watching opportunities,” Knoblauch said.
Where to go
Outdoor spots to enjoy your takout meals:
Michael Prouty Memorial Park, Route 65, West Bloomfield
Elton Park, Park Place, Bloomfield
Veterans Park, 910 Routes 5 and 20, Bloomfield
Baker Park, Buffalo Street, Canandaigua
Blue Heron Park, Buffalo Road, Canandaigua
Leonard R. Pierce Memorial Park, 5655 Goodale Road, Canandaigua
Richard P. Outhouse Memorial Park, 2550 Outhouse Road, Canandaigua
Gibson Street Park, Park Place, Canandaigua
John Brown Memorial Park, Spring Street, Clifton Springs
Seneca Lake State Park, 1 Lakefront Drive, Geneva
Finger Lakes Welcome Center, 35 Lake Front Drive, Geneva
BiCentennial Park, Geneva
Gulvin Park, Geneva
Neider Park, Geneva
Lakefront Park, Geneva
Jefferson Park, Geneva
Brook Street Park, Geneva
Washington Park, Geneva
Ridgewood Park, Geneva
Richards Park, Geneva
Genesee Park, Geneva
Kashong Conservation Area, Geneva
WestPlex Park, 7 West Avenue, Manchester
County Road 12 Scenic Overlook, 7083 County Road 12, Naples
Grimes Glen Park, 48 Vine Street, Naples
Naples Community Park, 8091 NY State Route 245, Naples
Redfield Park, 8 Park St., Phelps
Crooked Bridge Park, William Street, Phelps
Methodist Memorial Park, Main Street, Phelps
Three Mills Park, Stryker Road, Phelps
Shortsville Budd Park, Water Street, Shortsville
Jones-Blunt Park, Water Street, Shortsville
Boughton Park, Boughton Road, Victor
Dryer Road Park, 7405 Dryer Road, Victor
Fishers Park, 7929 Main Street Fishers, Victor
Harlan Fisher Park, 85 Lynaugh Road, Victor
Lehigh Crossing Park, 7350 Victor-Mendon Road, Victor
Mead Square, 39 West Main Street, Victor
MaryFrances Bluebird Haven, 235 County Road 9, Victor
Victor Municipal Park, 6680 Paparone Drive, Victor
Village on the Park, 760A Duck Hollow, Victor
Remember to maintain social distancing guidelines and adhere to carry in, carry out park policies.
Eat, Drink and Be Murphy
The Eat, Drink and Be Murphy column explores the region’s bounty of food and drink — and the people who bring it to you — soup to nuts, accentuated with a craft beer or Finger Lakes wine. After all, who doesn’t love to eat and drink? Email assistant editor Mike Murphy at email@example.com or call 585-337-4229 with ideas and suggestions.