Canal View Family Restaurant named a Friend of Education

COURTESY OF BRENDA PITTMAN

Canal View Family Restaurant, 247 W. Union St., received this year’s Friend of Education Award from the Newark Central School District for its ongoing support of Newark High School students.  

The award annually goes to an individual, organization or business that goes the extra mile to support Newark education. Superintendent Susan Hasenauer congratulated and commended the restaurant during the opening assembly at Superintendent’s Conference Day. 

“Canal View has supported our students in countless ways, especially during the 2020-21 school year,’’ Principal Nick Ganster said.  

Canal View and owner Kortni Calabrese allowed members of the Class of 2021 to paint decorations on the restaurant’s windows for the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, donated $5,000 of its profits to the Class of 2021to help defray the costs of senior activities, allowed the Drama Club to film scenes in and outside the restaurant for its “We Will Rock You” spring film/musical and participated in fundraisers that netted $1,000 for Operation Graduation. 

“We are so humbled to receive this award,’’ said Calabrese, whose daughter, Isabelle Figueroa, was a member of the Class of 2021 and son, Gabriel Figueroa, is a Perkins School second grader. “I’m so glad we were able to help the Class of 2021. We look forward to continually working with the school district. Besides Isabelle, Jaston Brooks and Brenna Stepfanides, members of the Class of 2021, worked here and all three have gone on to college. We now have five NHS students working at the restaurant. We plan to do a senior night fundraiser to benefit the senior class at the restaurant each year.” 

Canal View Family Restaurant is named a Friend of Education by the Newark Central School District. Pictured, from left, are owner Kortni Calabrese with her daughter, Isabelle Figueroa; husband, Isidro Figueroa; and son, Gabriel Figueroa.

Drama Club adviser Emily Howard said Calabrese is deserving of the award. 

“Canal View Family Restaurant has been a wonderful supporter of the NHS Drama Club and spring musical for many years; however, in the spring of 2021, Kortni and her team went above and beyond when she allowed us to film scenes for our spring musical inside the restaurant,” Howard said. “Due to COVID restrictions, we had to be extra creative about how to produce theater and decided to create a film version of our show. We needed a venue that could serve as the Hard Rock Cafe. When I asked Kortni if we could use Canal View, she immediately said yes. That kind of community partnership is what makes living in a place like Newark truly special. In a year in which nothing was normal, having the experience of filming ‘on location’ and singing and dancing in Canal View is something our cast and crew will never forget.”