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Monday, August 4, 2014 at 6:23 pm

Photos: 'It's My Party' at Jackson Square

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, entertainment, Jackson Square, music

Amanda Earl submitted these photos of the band "It's My Party" performing Friday night at Jackson Square.

Friday, June 27, 2014 at 11:14 pm

Photos: Ireland well represented on first night of 2014 Jackson Square concert series

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, BID, downtown, entertainment, Jackson Square, music

The annual Jackson Square concert series kicked off Friday night with a return engagement by Stone Row, who first played the series nine years ago.

The electrified Irish band entertained the crowd with traditional and contemporary numbers.

Opening the show was a string quartet from the Genesee Symphony Orchestra playing traditional Irish tunes.

For a line-up of this summer's shows, click here.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014 at 6:36 pm

Photos: New utility pole off Jackson Street

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Jackson Square, Jackson Street

National Grid crews had Jackson Street closed off late this afternoon for the installation of a new utility pole behind the old Bank of Genesee building. The pole is one of two put up today to replace one in Jackson Square. The old pole interferred with the third story reconstruction of the former Carr's warehouse. The old warehouse is being converted into apartment units.

Thursday, May 1, 2014 at 4:58 pm

Conversion of former Carr's Warehouse into apartments nearly completed

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, 14 Jackson Square, business, downtown, Jackson Square

By the end of the month, 14 Jackson Square -- an address that never existed until recently -- will come to life in a new, and reinvented way.

The former Carr's Department Store Warehouse will contain three two-bedroom apartments (a fourth should be ready by the end of June) and a downstairs office space.

Paul Thompson and his partners will have invested more than $500,000 in the project, with the help of a state grant of $115,000, to convert the three-story structure into a mixed-use space.

The project fits a few of the city's goals to reinvigorate Downtown, said City Manager Jason Molino. It creates more residential space Downtown, more new office space and it converts a building that was doing nothing for the city into something vibrant.

"It takes a building that was always a warehouse and turns it into a useful and meaningful space Downtown," Molino said.

Thompson said his Byron-based company was interested in the project because they have some experience in redeveloping mixed-use spaces. It was a way to provide employment for his workers during the winter, and based on his experience with rental properties in the city, there's a strong demand for apartments designed to appeal to young professionals.

Study after study shows, young professionals want to live in environments where nightlife and shopping are in walking distance and there's a sense of urban life to the neighborhood (related story from USAToday).

This project brings the total of new apartments Downtown to nine, said Julie Pacette, coordinator for the Batavia Development Corp. All of the previous apartments rented to young professionals within days of becoming available.

By assisting Thompson and his partners, Pacette said, a property that was off the tax roles for a few years is now in private, property-tax-paying hands.

Thompson said the project has helped him expand his company. His staff of 14 is now a staff of 20, though not all of the new hires are directly related to this project.

Related: For those interested in new urbanism, the Congress for New Urbanism meets in Buffalo, June 4 though 7.

Paul Thompson

Friday, July 26, 2013 at 4:15 pm

Hutchins Street Blues Brothers to join the show in Jackson Square tonight

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, entertainment, Jackson Square, music

Val Zinni and Carmen Del Plato will perform in Jackson Square tonight as part of the Over the Hill Musicians Society show.

Performing as the Hutchins Street Blues Brothers Rhythm and Blue Review, Zinni and Del Plato will reprise a performance they've staged a few times over the years since 1981. That year they entered the talent show -- which was right after "The Blue Brothers" movie came out -- at the St. Anthony's Lawn Fete. 

Del Plato said after winning the talent show, Zinni kissed Monsignor Aquavia "right on top of his bald head," John Belushi-style, Del Plato said.

At first, Zinni and Del Plato performed to recorded music, but a few years ago they started performing with Del Plato's brother's band.

"We'll be performing two songs because the band won't let us do any more than that!" Del Plato said.

Show time is 7 p.m.

Photo by Shelley Zinni.

Saturday, July 6, 2013 at 12:51 am

Photos: Penny Whiskey opens Jackson Square concert season

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, downtown, entertainment, Jackson Square, music

Irish folk band Penny Whiskey, always a crowd favorite, opened the Jackson Square concert season Friday with two hours of Celtic rhythms and melodies. The square was pretty jam-packed with local music fans for the show.

Penny Whiskey is: Kirk McWhorter, Jon Carlson (top photo), Dan Lelito, Paul Kneis (second photo).

The Ramble Music and Arts Fest starts Saturday at 11 a.m.

Natalie Muscarella uses mom's camera to get some pictures of the band.

Officers Mark Lawrence and Eric Dibble next to the mural portrait of a Batavia police officer in Jackson Square.

To purchase prints of these photos, click here.

Friday, July 5, 2013 at 2:26 pm

Penny Whiskey kicks off Jackson Square concerts tonight

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, entertainment, Jackson Square, music

Penny Whiskey kicks off a new season of concerts in Jackson Square at 7 p.m.

If it's raining at 5 p.m. or looks like rain is coming, the show will be moved to City Centre.

The Batavian is sponsoring tonight's show and I'll be there with freebies (photo prints, T-shirts and gift cards to local businesses) for anybody who signs up for a new membership in The Batavian Club.

Here's a list of shows this season:

It's My Party ('60s Hits) -- July 12
Ghost Riders (Country) -- July 19
OHMS Band (Rock) -- July 26
Bonnie & Collide (R & B) -- Aug. 2
Skiffle Minstrels (Swing & Zydeco...) --  Aug. 9
Kelly's Old Timers (Country) -- Aug. 16
C'est Bon All Girl Cajun Band (Cajun) -- Aug. 23
Mitty & The Followers (MoTown) -- Aug. 30

Friday, July 27, 2012 at 11:49 am

Fundraiser in Jackson Square will benefit Don Carroll

post by Daniel Crofts in batavia, Don Carroll, fundraiser, Jackson Square, live music

T-Shirts, Etc. and the Batavia Business Improvement District (or "the BID") will present "DC in the Square," a benefit for local philanthropist Don Carroll, on Sunday from noon until 4 p.m. It will be downtown at Jackson Square.

Carroll, who is well-known locally for raising thousands of dollars on behalf of underprivileged youth, was diagnosed with esophageal cancer in April.

Brian and Beth Kemp of T-Shirts, Etc. have known Carroll for several years and helped him every year with Toys for Kids, an annual toy drive Carroll founded to purchase Christmas presents for children who might not otherwise receive them.

"When I found out about Don's cancer," Beth said, "I went to Brian and suggested we host a benefit. Because he has helped so many people, I thought it would be awesome for the community to be able to give back."

They approached the BID to ask if they could use Jackson Square as the venue. The BID went even further and agreed to sponsor the event.

"DC in the Square" will feature live performances by three bands: "Old Hippies," "Soul Craft" and "Savage Cabbage," plus a Chinese auction and a 50/50 raffle.

Items included in the auction and raffle will include all kinds of goodies donated by several local businesses, including:

  • Clothing apparel from Lamb Farms (Oakfield)
  • A goodie basket from Oliver's Candies
  • T-shirts and gift certificates from The Batavian

Coffee Culture Manager Brenda Richardson, who is also helping out with the event, said that M&T Bank has donated money, which they may use for a kids' basket or something similar.

Clor's Meat Market will be providing BBQ dinners for $9. People have their choice of chicken, rib or pulled pork dinners. Each dinner comes with a roll, butter, and two out of the following three sides:

  • Salt potato
  • Coleslaw
  • Macaroni salad

Tickets can be purchased at the Square on July 29 or in advance at the following Batavia locations:

  • T-Shirts Etc., 111 Main St.
  • Clor's Meat Market, 4169 W. Main St. Road
  • Coffee Culture, 6 Court St.

A minimum $2 donation is asked of everyone at the gate.

Jerry Foster, a former teacher and lifelong friend of Carroll's, provided an update on his condition.

"He's completed his third cycle of chemo," Foster said. "He is starting to be able to swallow a little bit, though not much. ... He will be going back to Strong Memorial Hospital to see if the tumor has shrunk enough that they can operate on it."

For more information about "DC in the Square," contact Brian and Beth Kemp at 345-1993 or email [email protected].

Picture courtesy of Brian and Beth Kemp.

Saturday, July 21, 2012 at 10:16 am

Photos: Ghost Riders in Jackson Square, both bands

The Ghost Riders played Jackson Square on Friday night -- both bands.

The Ghost Riders country band shared the venue with the Ghost Riders Drum and Bugle Corps, which is also based in Batavia.

If it's ever possible to say Jackson Square is SRO, then last night was one of those nights. The square was nearly wall-to-wall music fans.

Monday, July 9, 2012 at 7:52 pm

'DC in the Square' to benefit Don Carroll

"DC in the Square" is scheduled for Sunday, July 29 in Batavia's Jackson Square from noon until 4 pm. It is a benefit for Don Carroll, who has spent most of his life raising money for kids in need in Genesee County and is now battling esophageal cancer.

The event will include live performances by "Old Hippies," "Soul Craft" and "Savage Cabbage" as well as a Chinese auction and 50/50 raffle. Everyone is asked to contribute a minimum $2 donation at the gate.

Presale BBQ tickets can be purchased at the following Batavia locations:

  • T-Shirts Etc., 111 Main St.
  • Clor's Meat Market, 4169 W. Main St. Road
  • Coffee Culture, 6 Court St.
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