Hungry for History
Gregg Tripoli, executive director of the Onondaga Historical Association, is on a mission: to improve his corner of downtown in part by devising a decent place for a workday lunch. This includes strategically placing businesses to fill vacant buildings along Montgomery Street, where the OHA is headquartered. The newest addition is Parisa’s Restaurant, a casual dining spot that offers a variety of homemade specialties.
Originally wanting to open a beer and wine bar, Peyman Pourpezeshk couldn’t turn down the offer by Tripoli to make the spot a restaurant instead. Named after his daughter, Parisa’s opened March 7. “I think of it as upscale comfort food,” Pourpezeshk says of the first restaurant he has owned. Favorites on the menu include homemade potato chips, curry chicken salad, a wedge salad featuring iceberg lettuce topped with tomato, bacon and blue cheese dressing, and a variety of desserts that change daily.
The brunch menu includes bananastuffed French toast, blueberry almond pancakes, steak and eggs, brunch potatoes and fresh fruit.
“I knew these new owners were the right fit for the area,” Tripoli says of Pourpezeshk. “Our goal was to make it a history-themed restaurant. You know, create a theme. History adds value.”
That theme’s presentation starts right at the door of 317 Montgomery St. Artifacts cover the entry’s walls, anything from pieces Syracuse China to photos of lake steamers. More history greets you as you sit down: Tables hold placemats with “Did You Know?” trivia questions that provide guests with an advantage, educating them, and giving them something to think and talk about.
“It gives people something to do while they wait, and educates them about our history. And, if you’re on a first date, it works as a conversation piece,” Tripoli explains. “People love when they learn something new.”
The upstairs dining area remains from when this spot was Brick Alley Grill, but the new owners have expanded the tightquartered downstairs into a banquet room that can be used for small parties.
Parisa’s has yet to obtain its liquor license, but guests are welcome to bring their own beer or wine with no corking fee. The spot is open Mondays through Fridays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Sundays from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. for brunch.
Lunch deliveries are available within a three-block radius. When the liquor license arrives, so too will dinners.
For more information, call 565-5118 or visit www.parisarestaurant.com.
Brews You Can Use
For 16 years, Middle Ages Brewing Company, 120 Wilkinson St., has been welcoming revelers of all ages to its neighbor, Leavenworth Park, to drink beer, listen to music, chow down and just generally hang out. This year, Sunday, Aug. 7, marks another great party.
“It’s a beautiful park,” says David Mevoli, sales manager for T.J. Sheehan Distributing, which is the local distributor of Middle Ages beer, “and it’s underutilized. It’s directly across from Middle Ages Brewery.” To find it, take West Genesee Street and turn south onto Plum Street and you can’t miss the linear greenspace.
Between 2 and 8 p.m., folks can purchase food from local restaurants, enjoy a Middle Ages beer or two ($5 per glass), sit back (lawn chairs and blankets are encouraged) and listen to music from New Riders of the Puple Sage, Dark Hollow, Sirsy and others. While all ages are allowed, of course you need to be 21 to imbibe.
“The best part is that Middle Ages has a huge variety of beers, and they will be available to consumers,” Mevoli says. “And they’ll be bringing out their conditioned ales, English ales that aren’t carbonated or poured like a regular beer, but drawn out through a gravity system, so people can try something fun and exciting they wouldn’t be able to have normally.”
For more information on the event, visit www.middleagesbrewing.com.
Byrne Dairy’s newest store replaces the venerable Galeville Grocery Store that had stood there for generations. In addition to a new structure, Byrne made sure to retain and improve upon Galeville’s impressive stock of craft, imported and unusual beers. What’s missing, however, are the store’s warped hardwood floors that made you feel as if you’d had a few of those brews before you even entered the place. You’ll find the new store at 412 Old Liverpool Road, Liverpool.