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Seneca Lake tasting and event facility gets new owners ADVERTISEMENT

Seneca Lake tasting and event facility gets new owners

SENECA LAKE--Starkey's Lookout has been sold to Tin Barn Brewing located in Chester, New York (roughly an hour outside of New York City) and will become a new Tin Barn Brewing FLX location in the spring. Tin Barn is joining a growing trend of downstate breweries that are looking to open a second location in the Finger Lakes or Southern Tier regions.
"A lot of New York area breweries are moving up there for their second location," said Dale Van Pamelen, co-owner of Tin Barn with his daughter Lauren. "This is part of a trend, Rochester became a big beer town and it is spreading out from there."
Even larger brewers are getting into the trend, as in 2020, Magic Hat, one of the first and most successful Vermont-based craft beer brewers, sold their Burlington brewery and moved operations to Rochester.
When it came to the Starkey's Lookout location, Van Pamelen said the timing of everything just seemed to work.
"I'm always on the lookout for property and we are looking to expand, and it was the right time at the right price and it's so darn beautiful, it's stunning," said Van Pamelen. "I grew up in Webster outside of Rochester and that place is very nice."
The Finger Lakes themselves have been one of the key reasons why visitor-based businesses have been looking to locate in the region.
"Sitting by a lake drinking our beer, it's what I want for my customers," said Van Pamelen.
While the plan is currently to allow Starkey's Lookout to operate as-is for the coming months and then to reopen as a Tin Barn location in May or June following some light remodeling, Van Pamelen said he still expects big changes.
"We plan to do a lot more business... and we are going to hire more people as well," Van Pamelen added. "More people, more beer, more functions, more bands, more fun, a lot more life to it."
To aid with that plan, Van Pamelen said there are currently plans to install an expanded outdoor area which will include a large deck and music stage similar to what they have at their Chester location.
"We have been very successful in our first location with live music and events," Van Pamelen mentioned.
A key part of the business transition will be to retain as much of the current staff as possible.
"It's hard to get quality staff... and they have been running it on their own for quite a while," added Van Pamelen.
The current plan calls for the beer to be brewed out of the Chester location and then transported to Seneca Lake. But Van Pamelen expects there will be an expansion in that area too, saying, "eventually we will put in a pilot system."

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