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Seneca Cheese Company offers unique experience to Finger Lakes

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Seneca Cheese Company opened its doors to a one-of-a-kind experience to the Finger Lakes on July 2.

The artisanal cheese tavern houses a variety of local, handmade cheese, wine, beer and spirits.

“We’re the only place in the Finger Lakes that is combining three of the major reasons people visit this area,” Bob MacBlane, co-owner of Seneca Cheese Company, said. “People visit this area for the wine tours, beer tours and now people are starting to visit the area for the dairy tours.”

The cheese tavern combines all those aspects into one building where customers can embrace local products.

“We were up the street for lunch and we heard it just opened, we decided to stop in and have a few,” Dave Roberts, a customer visiting the area from Allentown, Pennsylvania, said. “A local person told us about it, it’s a beautiful place.”

A place that was two years in the making from concept to reality.

The two-story tavern can hold about 50 people downstairs with an upstairs private events room and a balcony, the marquee of the business.

“Outside we have a deck that overhangs North Franklin street, just one block from the lake, with a bonafide lake view,” MacBlane said.

That lake view is also one of the main attractions in a second aspect of the business — an Airbnb with its own private entrance.

Watkins Glen Village approval is under way for the two bedroom vacation suite and is expected to open later this summer.

Until then, MacBlane said he is focusing on ensuring the business runs smoothly in the tavern.

Their first weekend of business was Independence Day Weekend. MacBlane said the building couldn’t hold another person due to the influx of customers giving the new place a taste.

MacBlane has hired about a dozen employees and is looking for more applications as the busy summer season continues.

MacBlane said for those who are interested in applying to stop by the tavern on 29 North Franklin Street in Watkins Glen, and ask for him.

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