Old favorite returns and new favorite opens: What's new in Bath

Jeff Smith
The Leader

The recent reopening of the popular Chat-A-Whyle Restaurant and the opening of the Park Café, a homemade sweet & eat bakery, are already having a positive impact on Liberty Street and the downtown area, and more businesses are on the way.

“The Village of Bath is alive and well,” Bath Village Mayor Mike Sweet said. “This is probably the most active I’ve seen the downtown area in many years.” 

Dillon Towner, the new owner of Chat-A-Whyle, said there was excitement surrounding the return of the restaurant June 15.

‘We kind of flew in a little under that radar because we knew we were going to be super crazy busy and it has been crazy busy,” Towner said. “Everybody is glad that we are back and we’ve come back new, a little different and more modern. Everybody seems to be very excited that we are back." 

Dillon Towner, the new owner of the Chat-A-Whyle, stands with several employees during work celebrating the opening of the long-time eatery.

Towner's first job, when he was 15 years old, was at Chat-A-Whyle, which was then owned by John and Joyce Loza, his aunt and uncle. 

“After that, I went to culinary school and did other ventures like working at Hersey Entertainment for nearly 10 years,” Towner said. “I’m just glad to be back. The menu has changed to be more modern and we use as much local produce as possible.” 

The Chat-A-Whyle is open from 6 a.m.- 8 p.m., Tuesday through Thursday, from 6 a.m.-9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and from 7 a.m.-2 p.m. Sundays. 

Park Cafe a hit since opening

Jackie Nemes, who owns Park Café on Liberty Street along with her mother, Kelly Nadler, said they are both extremely pleased with the business they have done since opening in mid-July.

Sweet said the opening of Park Café sparked a huge line at its 5 Liberty St. location, from the counter all the way to the street. 

“It has been busy every single day ever since it opened,” Sweet said.  

Jackie Nemes, who owns the business along with her mother, Kelly Nadler, said the number of customers stopping by the bakery since the opening has been great. 

“We’ve sold out almost every day,” Nemes said. “Last Friday was the first day we didn’t get totally wiped out. We are starting to get a threshold and figure out what we need. But overall, it's been fantastic.”  

The café is open Tuesday through Saturday, Nemes said, but exact hours have not yet been decided. 

More businesses coming to Bath

Marc and Becky Shuart, owners of The Pulteney Place, said the 6,500-square-foot Airbnb building on West Pulteney Street is expected to open in the early fall months.

Sweet said other additions coming to the downtown area include the Pulteney Place, an Airbnb location on West Pulteney Street, Tug Town Brewery on Steuben Street, and next year will likely see the completion of the housing plan at the long-vacant Dana Lyon Middle School.

Marc and Becky Shuart, owners of Pulteney Place, at 2 West Pulteney St., said their 6,500-square-foot Airbnb is expected to open in the early fall.

“One thing we saw as the pandemic progressed into summer 2020 was that people continued to visit the area,” Marc Shuart said. “Tourism appeared to remain steady. With this, we changed our plan from office space accommodations to tourist/lodging accommodations.

"With the building being spacious we later added to the plan a way for local people to be able to enjoy the building as well.” 

Marc Shuart said they will also be able to host small events, such as wine or beer tastings, holiday parties, baby or bridal showers, and team-building events for businesses.  

“With the addition of a pool table, ping pong table, foosball table and a video game machine, kids and adults can have fun, too, during an event or after unwinding from a great day of enjoying the beautiful Finger Lakes Region,” Shuart said. “With all that, the upscale Airbnb will have to offer, including the event venue, Marc and Becky refer to it as a soon-to-be Airbnb 2.0.” 

Sweet said the owner of Tug Town Brewery, Rob Conrad, is waiting on the approval of a liquor license.

“It’s pretty much set to go,” Sweet said. “I expect it will open within the next 30-60 days.” 

The Save the Lyons Committee agreed to sell the old Dana Lyons School to Providence Housing of Rochester, which will seek state funding late this year to convert the building into apartments.