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Former Gould Hotel manager buys Abigail’s Restaurant

Abigails was a popular restaurant for 34 years and its June 2018 closing saddened many.

But the Routes 5&20 restaurant between Waterloo and Seneca Falls will reopen under new ownership, with a new name and with different food offerings — including a small craft beer brewery.

Billy Weston of Seneca Falls bought the restaurant from the Legott family in late April. He has been working to renovate the interior to become a combination sports bar and bistro and a traditional dining room and is eyeing a late June or early July opening.

It will be called Barkley’s Riverside. Weston said Barkley is his middle name.

“My mother was a big fan of Bat Masterson and his real name was William Barkley Masterson, so I got the first and middle names,” Weston said with a laugh.

“The more upscale dining area will feature fresh cut steaks and fresh seafood,” Weston said. The menu also will include chicken, lamb and veal dishes, a Saturday night prime rib special and Friday fish fry, plus Italian dishes with homemade sauces and meatballs.

He said there also will be a raw bar and most likely a lunch bar-buffet. The sports pub will feature traditional pub food such as burgers and chicken wings. The bar will have 10 draft taps, including several local craft beers. Finger Lakes area wines will be highlighted as well, along with craft cocktails and frozen drinks.

“We’re working on the interior now. A brand new floor has been installed and we’re painting the walls and doing general upgrades,” Weston said. “The layout will be much the same, with the east side of the main dining room set aside for the craft brewery. The sports pub and dining room will be sound-proofed and kept separate to avoid noise infiltration. New kitchen equipment is being put in and I plan on making as much use of the rear deck overlooking the canal as possible, with an awning and tables with umbrellas for dining and drinking.”

The restaurant also will offer catering, both for special parties and gatherings within closed-off rooms in the facility and off site. Hiring for staff has begun.

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