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Saturday, January 12, 2013 at 8:58 am

Old Eagle Hotel smokin' under new ownership

post by Howard B. Owens in business, Eagle Hotel, Le Roy, Smokin' Eagle BBQ and Brew

The Eagle Hotel in Le Roy may have 200 years of history behind it, but that doesn't mean it doesn't have a next chapter in life.

The landmark building has fallen into the hands of four young men who have a vision for it that should make it a go-too place for people looking for a good time and good food for many years to come.

John Marcello, Marc Marcello and Jason Beaumont have partnered to transform the Eagle into the Smokin' Eagle BBQ and Brew. They've hired Le Roy resident Shane Burger as their general manager.

"I think the concept, this building, the entertainment, the BBQ, it all kind of goes together," John Marcello said.

Jason Beaumont grew up in Le Roy and first tried to buy the building 10 years ago. It didn't work out, but when the previous owners decided to sell in 2012, Beaumont took another stab at it.

"I grew up there, and this building has so much character that you don’t get in a lot of places," Beaumont said.

Since Beaumont had no experience in the food business -- his background is in the mortgage industry and has been investing in residential properties and doing property management for the past few years -- he started asking his friends John and Marc about how to run the restaurant side of his new building.

The Marcello brothers own 58 Main Street in Brockport, which is a BBQ and brew sports bar and have owned the business for 13 years.

One day, John told him, you know, we're thinking of expanding.

It didn't take long for the old friends to strike a deal on a new concept for the Eagle. The brothers would bring their experience with BBQ and beer and Beaumont would be in charge of the building.

Then they needed to recruit a general manager.

Through mutual friends, John found Shane, who has been a food and hospitality manager for the Holiday Inn and Batavia Downs.

According to John, Burger was a little skeptical at first, and John understood.

"It’s his reputation on the line," John said. "He doesn't want to walk into a place that is just a bar and grill that’s been here for 200 years wasn't going to change. He wants something different and he brings a lot to the table.”

Once Burger understood the concept, he was sold.

" It was one of those things where I thought, ‘why didn’t think of that?' " Burger said. "It fit. It’s a different niche here in Le Roy and I think it’s being well received so far."

Since the Eagle once had a reputation for being a little on the rough side, the owners have hired big security guys for Friday and Saturday nights, installed security cameras and made it clear certain behavior won't be tolerated.

"It's about setting expectations and putting the right atmosphere right out there right out of the gate," Marc said. "The one guy who causes trouble might spend 50 or 80 bucks in a night, but he costs so much more money in the long run."

They intend for the Smokin' Eagle to be a family-friendly atmosphere. To help enhance that, they're going to open up the foyer so people coming in just for dinner can walk straight into the dining room instead of passing through the bar.

The bar itself is the same grand old hardwood counter it's always been (probably from the days when it was a pharmacy), but instead of just eight beers on tap, there are now 20.

Burger has also started booking in more live music as well as comedy acts.

"Le Roy has been starving for something like this," Burger said.

Burger has a lot of plans for the building, from removing the drop ceiling in the bar to restoring the ballroom upstairs.

"I think everybody can look forward to more changes at a slow and steady pace where everybody can feel comfortable," John said.

And then there's the issue of the third floor. It probably can't be returned any time soon to apartments or hotel rooms, but the ambiance is right for a haunted house come October.

A friend of Beaumont's has run a haunted house for years and they've always wanted to do one together, so now Beaumont has the space.

There may already even be a ghost in residence to give guests a little extra fright.

The ghost is known as "Charlie" and according to Beaumont the previous owner and previous employees have told stories about him.

Is Charlie for real? John laughed and said, "I’ve had some experiences when we first got here. I’m not going to go way into it, but some really creepy stuff, yeah."

As for the food, the menu features smoked pork, either pulled or ribs, and there's pulled-pork potato boats and egg rolls for a little different approach to BBQ. The two-page menu has a variety of other items and side dishes.

John and Marc Marcello started in the food business in high school, working as bus boys at the Village Diner in Brockport. When they moved to Irvine, Calif., they opened a restaurant with their father.

Then about 13 years ago, they wanted to return to WNY and heard their former employer was ready to sell, so they bought the restaurant and changed the name to 58 Main Street. 

Five or six years ago, a very popular BBQ joint in Brockport was shut down and the brothers hired a few key employees. They taught them the BBQ business and BBQ became a staple of 58 Main.

John, Marc and Jason have, over the years, traveled to various BBQ competitions, entering their own dishes. At the competitions, they found other chefs were quite willing to share their own experience and techniques, so they've been able to improve and refine their own smoking skills.

"It’s a learning experience every day," Marc said. "Every day we learn something new or we tweek something and do it a little differently."

Based on what Billie and I have sampled so far, the brothers and their cook staff -- Chris Miller and Brian Canale -- have learned their lessons well.

Photo: From left, Shane Burger, Marc Marcello, John Marcello, Jason Beaumont.

Friday, January 23, 2009 at 1:50 pm

Lunch at the Eagle Hotel

post by Philip Anselmo in Eagle Hotel, food, history, Le Roy, LeRoy

It's been a placid day out here in Le Roy today. It's cold but not too cold. Grey but not too grey. So many homes here have shutters. It reminds me of the Parisian suburbs, peopled with tree-lined rues and avenues and stately, majestic homes. After a morning of work and wandering and talking up the few folks I already know in the area, I pulled up a stool at the Eagle Hotel for a hot lunch.

You can't read the plaque in this photo—obviously—but it's there, behind the tree. It reads: "Here at the Eagle Hotel the LeRoy village government was organized on July 12, 1834. Presented in honor of the LeRoy Sesquicentennial 1984." Sesquicentennial means 150th anniversary. Of course, 2009 would then make this the 175th anniversay of the village. Rochester and Toronto are also in the midst of their 175th. That's the demisemiseptcentennial for you other logophiles out there.

So we know that the Eagle Hotel, too, has been around for at least 175 years, likely more. Unfortunately, the owner, Nancy Scott, was not around to chat with me when I stopped by for a fish fry—tasty and served with a smile—earlier today. I'm looking forward to finding out more about the place. A couple folks at the bar were able to tell me enough to only whet my appetite further. For example, it used to be a stagecoach stop on the route between Buffalo and Canandaigua. A few folks even swore that much of the furniture inside, including an old liquor cabinet and the bartop, are leftovers from the days when the Eagle likely served sarsparilla and the clientele knew the difference between the withers and the croup.

Anyhow, the Eagle is old, and, according to the bartender who readily admits a fear of the ghosts who haunt the place, it's got its share of stories to tell. Once we find out more about the place, we'll share it with you.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008 at 1:55 pm

"Stagecoach Days" in Le Roy & musings on community

post by Lorie Longhany in community, Eagle Hotel, Le Roy, Leader Group

 

Genesee County is a unique patchwork of small towns and villages surrounded by farms and rural countryside. Le Roy is one of the thirteen towns that make up this patchwork and it’s where I have lived most of my life.   While our towns and villages across Genesee have been in transition the past couple of decades due to globalization and the advent of retail strip malls and Wal-Mart’s our Main Streets have suffered immeasurably.  However, this past Sunday with the help of some pretty smart planning by some innovative people, Main Street in Le Roy came alive with a sea of activity.
From 1:00 – 5:00 P.M. Main Street closed to the bustle of Rte 5 traffic and a good old fashion street party commenced. The event was called Stagecoach Days – named for the horse drawn Stagecoach rides that were provided by the Eagle Hotel, a historic landmark and local watering hole.   This in itself was unique and appeared to be great fun. The planners of this event -- The Leader Group  (a group made up of merchants and civic leaders) along with the great people from the Eagle, thought of some other wonderful attractions to delight the senses. A classic car show and a DJ provided just the right entertainment and attraction value to keep people on the street enjoying the festivities for hours. Local restaurants and gift shops got in on the action and set up on the sidewalk offering their wares and tasty treats.
With the soaring gas prices and lifestyle change that will follow, one silver lining may turn out to be a new sense of community similar to what I remember growing up with in the 60’s and early 70’s. Our Main Street in Le Roy was a flurry of activity back then. Any need or want could and was found on Main Street. What I remember most was the camaraderie and sense that we were all connected in the fabric called community.   The shop owners knew and greeted all of us by name as we frequented their establishments. This was the true sense of a village and while we may never go back, maybe a new Main Street will emerge in the shadows of the end of cheap oil. This is what the first annual Stagecoach Days reminded me of. People will look for entertainment options closer to home and these community events give all of us an option to save gas money, get reacquainted with our friends and neighbors,  and have a great time in our own backyards. It also spurs more success for our shop keepers on Main Street.
A friend of mine and I participated as vendors, displaying our artwork in the alley, and we both thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.  I commend the Le Roy Leader Group and the Eagle Hotel for organizing such a great event and look forward to the 2nd annual Stagecoach Days. 

 

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