The Bank Street Café in Geneseo: Where Breakfast Bears Notice

March 24, 2013 at 8:00 am 1 comment

The view down main street from the cafe

The view down main street from the cafe

Geneseo is a charming upstate town that enjoys preserving it’s history along with it’s sense of humor. Legend has it that Seneca Indians called it jo-nis-hi-yuh, meaning the pleasant or beautiful valley. This evolved into Genesee, the river which carved out the beautiful valley containing the town of Geneseo.

The bear holds a working lantern

The bear holds a working lantern

In the center of Geneseo, right in the middle of the street is a large round fountain, with a bronze statue of a sitting bear, holding a lantern. This is the Wadsworth Fountain. It was built for Emmeline Wadsworth, an animal lover, and the fountain was intended as a watering trough for horses.

The Wadsworth brothers built their homes at either end of Main Street, then recruited others to move to the town and assisted them in building their homes.

Note the dead squirrel draped across the bears nose. Heaven forbid anyone should go hungry in Geneseo.The bear which remains  remains the iconic symbol of the town, holding it’s  $15,000  lantern — a working replica of the original — has inspired an annual teddy bear parade.

While visiting Geneseo stop for breakfast at the Bank Street Café and Grill.The Café is easy to locate — right across from the famous fountain bearing the Bear.

Most wonderful Blueberry Pancakes

Most wonderful Blueberry Pancakes

The Bank Street Cafe & Grill is no ordinary eatery. Nothing at Bank Street has been pre-processed. Everything is home-made from scratch. Breakfast is served all day long, and I enjoyed the best (and biggest) blueberry pancakes ever. They are also known for their angus beef burgers.

The village is making a proposal to widen the sidewalks at the three sides of the Bear Fountain and create a small outdoor cafe spot with tables and chairs opposite his restaurant. That would give the town even more character.

The Bank Street Café is open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays

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Entry filed under: Dining, Genesee River, Historical Tours, history, New York, restaurants. Tags: , , , , .

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Matt  |  March 24, 2013 at 3:24 pm

    We’ll have to take a trip to Geneseo to enjoy the Bank Street Café. Thanks for the informative review.

    Reply

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