DiVine Dining at the Hotel Clarence, Seneca Falls, NY
The grand old Gould Hotel on Fall Street in downtown Seneca Falls has stepped into the future with a $6.2 million renovation and a new name with an old history — Hotel Clarence.
This modern boutique hotel and its exceptional restaurant are a vibrant social center and lovely destination for guests wanting to experience the charm and the history of the Finger Lakes Region. Hotel Clarence features revitalized architecture, contemporary American cuisine at DiVine, the newly renamed Kitchen and bar, and all the modern amenities one would expect from a four-star hotel.
DiVINE Kitchen & Bar prides itself on utilizing fresh products from Seneca County’s many wineries and farms to create its cuisine. Great local beer too. The Clarence has hired the former chef at Mirbeau Inn and Spa. He is also the executive chef and owner of Moro’s Table in Auburn, Edward Moro. I can’t say enough wonderful stuff about Moro’s Table.
Moro said he worked in California’s Napa Valley and in the Oregon wine country before coming to the Finger Lakes. He said he was attracted to the New York wine region
“This is where I plan to live for the rest of my life,” says Moro “It’s a great area to raise kids, and it has wonderful food and wine.”
The menu consists of fresh-breads, crisp bountiful salads, farmer’s market vegetables, slow smoked ribs, thick steaks grilled over hardwood, the freshest seafood and homemade desserts and ice cream.
For dessert I ordered the bread pudding, which would have fed a mid-sized medieval village, it was so big!
Seneca Falls claims itself as the real Bedford Falls — the site of the 1946 Frank Capra movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life.” The restored hotel is named for the angel rescued by the film’s hero, George Bailey, who jumps from a bridge to save Clarence. The theme of the beloved movie ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ greets you, (projected on to the white wall of the lobby) as you enter the hotel and reminds the traveler of times gone by. This gem should not be missed by those planning a trip to upstate New York.
The Gould Hotel opened in February 1920 and at the time the Syracuse Journal claimed The Gould Hotel to be “the most complete and perfectly equipped of the smaller hotels of New York State. Four stories in height, absolutely fireproof in construction and equipped in perfect taste and convenience, it is scheduled to become the Mecca for travelers and autoists between Rochester and Syracuse.
Beyond its fantastic location, Gould Hotel featured gorgeous Spanish style architecture, elaborate banquet facilities and a renowned restaurant. Unfortunately, The Gould Hotel eventually closed and the building was turned into apartments. It subsequently sat vacant for quite some time.
The old mahogany bar in the Hotel Clarence came from Muldoon’s, a longtime downtown Seneca Falls bar. Tom Muldoon, the owner, was a colorful character, and the bar and its owner are fondly remembered by Seneca Falls natives.
The hotel’s central location is within short walking distance of the Ludvico Sculpture Trail and the National Women’s Hall of Fame. It is also close to MANY wineries around both Seneca and Cayuga Lakes. It is a short drive to the Waterloo Outlet Mall and the Montezuma Wildlife Refuge.
If you want to check out reviews, you will find they are many and varied as some LOVE the renovation and some are underwhelmed.
The Hotel Clarence is located at 108 Fall Street, Seneca Falls, NY 13148
Reservations can be made by calling 877-788-4010