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New, growing businesses add to New Hartford retail community

Alexis Manore
Staff writer
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Posted 3/4/23

New Hartford is seeing an influx of new and expanding businesses, marking a promising start to 2023.

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New, growing businesses add to New Hartford retail community


NEW HARTFORD  — New Hartford is seeing an influx of new and expanding businesses, marking a promising start to 2023.

Aqua Vino

Aqua Vino Restaurant and Bar recently relocated to 8655 Clinton Street in New Hartford, from 16 Harbor Lock Road in Utica where it had been located for 15 years.

The restaurant hosted a grand opening for the new location on Jan. 23. Aqua Vino’s new location, which is the former Outback Steakhouse, provides more seating and kitchen space than in Utica.

Aqua Vino has changed its hours and added new food to go with its new location.

The restaurant is open seven days per week, from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

A bigger wine list, a butcher’s board with new steak options, and new sides like Brussels sprouts with candied bacon are all new to the menu.

“I think for me, it’s a relief for my mother, brother, … all of our staff, because the kitchen’s bigger, it’s easier to mill around in and get more work done,” Aqua Vino Owner Rob Esche said at the Jan. 23 opening. “This is going to be great here, I’m looking forward to it.”

One Genny

This spring, patrons of One Genny, a restaurant and bar located at 1 Genesee St. in New Hartford, will be able to enjoy food and music outside, at the Patio on 42nd Street.

Phil Grande, one of the owners of One Genny, has said that the restaurant has been remodeled and that the Patio on 42nd Street will be done by the middle of May.

“It’s going to have a full-size bar in the middle of the room, we’ll have high-top seating and low-top seating, which will go out to the patio,” Grande said.

There will be about 30 seats on the patio, and the bar will have 20 to 24 seats, and there will be an additional 80 seats inside the restaurant.

“When COVID hit, we put the tent up outside, and it was a big hit, people liked being outside,” Grande said. “We decided to put an addition on because we’ve been busy, and we decided to put in the patio with the addition.”

Grande and Mike Inman, the owners of One Genny, have also purchased the building that used to house Sammy’s, a popular cafe that closed on Aug. 30, 2022. Sammy’s, which was at 34 Genesee St. in the village of New Hartford, was a popular place for breakfast and lunch until the restaurant announced its sudden closure with a Facebook post.

In Bloom Yoga Studio, which is now above One Genny, will be moving to 34 Genesee St. Work has started on the inside of the building.

“They gutted the place out, and they’re going to remodel it, with new walls and new floors to host In Bloom,” Grande said. “It should be done by the middle of March.”

The Bunker

The Bunker, a virtual reality golf bar, opened at 8653 Clinton St. in New Hartford in January.

The Bunker has seven golf simulator bays, which utilize Trackman, a top-of-the-line golf simulator technology. Trackman allows golfers to play at some of the most beautiful and well-known courses in the world, with radar technology that tracks club, ball and putting data of golfers to provide an accurate and fun experience.

There is a Trackman-certified head golf pro to help golfers optimize their experience. Golfers are welcome to bring their own clubs, or can use the clubs that The Bunker provides. The Bunker is family friendly and welcomes children and provides junior golfer lessons.

The Bunker was founded in 2019 by Troy Miller and Burl McCutcheon. Miller and McCutcheon are from Albany, and opened locations in Clifton Park, Guilderland, Latham and North Greenbush.

As the business grew, Miller said they wanted to expand outside of the Albany area and settled on New Hartford as the perfect place, because it is a commercial hub.

“We wanted to do one that was far enough away that we could still access it and keep an eye on it properly, and yet far enough away that it’ll give us a good sense of what it’s like to own one that’s not in our back yard,” Miller said.

Miller said that the New Hartford location has been very successful so far, and there are plans to expand into Syracuse and other areas near New Hartford.

“We hope to stay busy until the end of April with golf, and then we have an open-air concept with the whole front of the building opening up with garage doors we installed, so when the weather changes, we plan to open those up and continue to serve high-quality food and also … nighttime fun.” Miller said.

The Bunker does have a bar and a restaurant that serves food like burgers, chicken sandwiches, salads, chicken wings, tacos and more. Guests do not have to golf in order to eat at the restaurant.

Miller said that The Bunker now has mini golf and darts, which it didn’t have before.

He said that with the opening of the location, he’s learned that people in New Hartford like Utica Club Beer.

“Where I live, we’ve never even heard of it,” Miller said. “People kept coming in and going ‘You’re going to carry Utica Club?’ And I was like, ‘Apparently we are.’”

Sangertown Square

On Feb. 17, Sangertown Square announced that Journeys, a teen-oriented shoe store, will be returning to the mall.

“We are incredibly excited to welcome back the Journeys brand to Sangertown Square. A move back to our market shows how high-performing Sangertown Square is and we know our guests share in the excitement of welcoming Journeys back.” Maria Ackerman, marketing coordinator for Sangertown Square, said.

Sangertown Square also recently welcomed a new restaurant, Jibril’s Kitchen, to its food court in January.

Jibril’s Kitchen is owned by a local brother and sister duo, and serves authentic Halal food, like rice, chicken, beef, kabobs, birria tacos, burgers, salads and more.


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