WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (WETM) – The historic, English-style red phonebooth in downtown Watkins Glen has moved across the street, the Village announced.
The Village announced that the bright red booth that has been outside for the Rooster Fish Brewing Pub for decades now has a new home at the Watkins Glen Area Chamber of Commerce. Crews spent the early morning hours on February 9 carefully moving the booth across the intersection at Franklin and 3rd Streets.
According to the Village Clerk, Rooster Fish Pub closed shortly before the holidays and began selling off items it owned, including the phone booth. The Chamber then quickly decided to buy the booth so the Village wouldn’t lose that piece of history, the Clerk said.
According to the Schuyler County Historical Society, the phone booth was installed by Doug Thayer, owner of the recently-closed Rooster Fish Pub and the now-closed Wildflower Cafe and Rooster Fish Brewing. A newspaper article from 1992—provided by the historical society—said that Thayer found the eight-foot booth at a Buffalo warehouse and that it was built in England in the 1940s.
The article also said that tourists would tell Thayer such iconic red phone booths were now a rare sight in England. In fact, at the time of that article in 1992, Thayer said a similar booth was selling for $3,000 in Virginia.