Mike Schmidt and James White were still new to the Finger Lakes when they first stepped into Green Shutters last summer. But they could feel the history of the century-old restaurant.
That's why Schmidt and White, cousins who are both chefs, decided to buy the business when it went on the market. Green Shutters officially reopened under their ownership Friday, May 25.
"We've had hundreds of people come in over our last week and say, 'Thank you, I'm so happy you guys opened,'" Schmidt said at the restaurant Thursday. "What restaurant do you open where they're thanking you? You're usually thanking them. … We've never had so many people rooting for a restaurant in our lives."
Under their ownership, Schmidt and White expect Green Shutters customers to notice a difference. White redesigned it, removing the lunch counter and repurposing segments of it into new tables, a platform for the soda machine and a smaller countertop for the register. He also lined the sterile white interior with bold reds and blues, evoking the look of the boats on nearby Owasco Lake.