JAMES ‘Jim’ HASTAS: Jim and Mary Hastas owned and operated Hastas Restaurant for 38 years at 315 North Union Street, Olean. Born of Greek immigrants whose families were both in the restaurant business, Jim’s father Gus owned a Candy Kitchen in Franklinville, NY, and Mary’s father James co-owned the Texas Hot Restaurant in Wellsville, NY.
Jim was born in 1928, was raised and attended school in Franklinville. He graduated from the University of Buffalo. He was a good athlete while growing up, and his favorite sports were basketball and track and field. Jim served proudly in the U. S. Army and subsequently taught physical education and coached high school basketball, baseball, and football in Hinsdale.
In 1958, Jim left teaching to open ‘Hastas Texas Hot’ restaurant. He and Mary owned and operated the restaurant until March 31, 1993, when Jim retired.
Because of Jim’s incredible personality, sense of humor and love of sports (particularly basketball), people loved to come into the restaurant to have a cup of coffee and enjoy breakfast in the morning, a ‘Famous Texas Hot’ at lunch, and Jim’s famous Chicken & Biscuits, Fish Fry or Pork & Dressing dinners in the evening.
He was fondly referred to as “The Golden Greek,” and he always had a kind word or a quick story. One of Jim’s greatest memories was that of Bob Lanier and some of the 1970 NCAA Final Four St. Bonaventure basketball team eating breakfast at the restaurant. To put it mildly, Jim was an avid Bonnie’s fan, season ticket holder and booster club member. The restaurant became dubbed as ‘Bona East.’
Hastas Texas Hots restaurant was a 50s style diner, with a great counter and stools for patrons to sit and booths along the side. Jim and his close-knit employees Annie, Melissa, Larry and Barb all loved to engage in a friendly banter with customers while refilling their coffee cup, and more than anything the patrons of Hastas Texas Hot were always made to feel like family.
Jim passed away in 2007 after a brief illness. Just a few days before he died, he was playing golf at his beloved St. Bonaventure University golf course. He never once acknowledged he was ill. That was the kind of man Jim was.
Jim Hastas knew what it meant to be a restaurant owner. He was a storyteller...he was a friend to everyone who walked in those doors.
What Hastas Restaurant had to offer was more than a good meal at a good price. It was home.
Part of its popularity and customer loyalty has stemmed from the way Mr. Hastas and his staff have treated everyone.
Jim Englehart former SBU sports communication director stated, I'm disappointed and surprised it's closing. It's a pillar of the community. There's no place like it."
JOHN and KAROL LONG: John and Karol Long owned Karol’s Kitchen from 1986 to 2003 and Karol’s Kitchenette from 2000-2011. They were huge contributors to the Olean community and continue to contribute even after their retirement. They were hugely involved with community events such as St. Mary’s festival, Oktoberfest, NYS Maple Fest, Farm City Days, Taste of Olean, Rally in the Valley.
The couple won the annual Mental Health of Cattarauagus County Volunteerism Award. Through their restaurant years, they worked to help the department of social services bring meals to the elderly and impoverished. They continue to support St. Mary’s, Southern Tier Catholic and Walsh school functions. They are always helping their neighbors, friends and family.
ANTHONY FRATERCANGELO: Anthony’s dad, Nicholas “Nick” Fratarcangelo, received this award several years ago. Anthony continued in his dad’s footsteps by continuing to operate Angee’s Restaurant. Not only has Anthony carried on the restaurant with delicious, quality, famous food, he has stepped it up in so many ways. He has added wonderful additions and specials to his menu. He opened up and renovated the out side of the restaurant into a wonderful and prosperous alfresco dining option.
Anthony helps out the community in which he grew up in. He has helped many area sports and school teams with fundraisers. He is a man of generosity who donates food for those who have had a loss in their family.
Best of all, when former residents and even past coaching staff and players from St. Bonaventure University come back to visit Olean – most of the time, their first stop back is Angee’s – a destination / meeting place for all. Anthony created that kind of atmosphere at Angee’s.
MARLAYNE ROBINSON -- Marlayne Robinson has been working as a waitress for almost 56 years. Her first job was at Harvey & Carey’s located on North Union Street in downtown Olean in October of 1959. From there, she was hired by the L’Alcove Restaurant at their first location on north Fourth Street in Olean.
MarLayne transferred to the L’Alcove Restaurant’s new location on North Union Street and worked there for many years. MarLayne is currently working at the St. Bonaventure Clubhouse Restaurant.
MarLayne resides in Olean and has a daughter and two grown grandchildren. She is the caregiver of her family. Marlene yearly volunteers at Christmas and Thanksgiving serving dinners at St. Mary of the Angels Church.
JOHN M. “Mac” SUE -- Wikipedia defines Hospitality as the relationship between guest and host, or the act or practice of being hospitable. Specifically, this includes the reception and entertainment of guest, visitors or strangers, resorts, membership clubs, conventions, attractions, special events and other services for travelers and tourists. No one exemplifies these attributes better than Mac Sue.
For many years, Mac’s name was synonymous with the Castle Restaurant, and prior to that, the HoStaGeh Restaurant. Mac also entertained at Moonwink’s Restaurant in Cuba. No matter where he played, he always provided top notch entertainment and surrounded himself with the best musicians in the area.
In 1979, Mac traveled out to California and partnered with Flip Oakes and created The Wild Thing ‘band.’ They played the LaCosta Golf Spa Resort, on the Queen Mary in Long Beach, and toured on the noted ‘Love Boat’ around the South Pacific, Japan, China, and Borneo. Not only was Mac entertaining the folks on these cruises, he also performed music for the Sunday church services for them.
Mac was much more than just a piano player in a restaurant. He was a highly trained classical musician. He played in several area churches, and helped add a touch of elegance to countless weddings, receptions, funerals and many special concerts. He was loved and respected by not only his many fans, but by the music community as well.
TOM WEATHERELL -- Tom Weatherell has been in the food industry business for over 36 years. During these years, he has owned and operated Subway Pizza and Subs, East Side Pizzeria, Hoagies and Mickey's Restaurant. In 1989, he and his wife Debbie purchased Mickey's as a convenience store. Over the next 26 years, Tom transformed Mickey's from a convenience store, to a beverage center, to a 2-seat deli, then a 34 seat deli, and now a full service 160 seat restaurant. Mickey's is a family owned business that Tom operates with his wife, two sons, Eric and Adam, and a loyal staff of 18. Eric currently manages Mickey's and will continue the tradition.
Louis Frungillo, Sr. -- Louis was manager of the L’Alcove Restaurant for more than 40 years. Known as the whistling manager and bartender, he assisted and directed many young chefs. Olean Times Herald former reporter Mike Abdo was quoted, “Lou, you see, knew the customers right down to the minutest detail…Lou, the maitre d’hotel at the L’Alcove – both past and present establishment, was L’Alcove owner Butch Butchello’s solid right arm.”
The original L’Alcove Restaurant for years was a consistently successful member of the Butchello family of businesses and this success was largely due to Louie. He was the face and personality of the old L’Alcove serving as bartender, maitre-d’, and patron confidant all wrapped up in one. In some opinions, he created a caring environment with his clientele much like the one depicted in the 80’s sitcom “Cheers”. Most of the customers were regulars and some even had their “regular” bar stools as part of their daily or weekly rituals.
There was no avoiding Louie’s upbeat and engaging personality. You see you couldn’t get to the dining room without going through the bar. And from behind the bar Louie would greet everyone, check on their table, fix them a drink while they waited, and serve as an advisor on life if appropriate – that is if he wasn’t talking baseball. Does this sound like Cheers to you? In our book it was Olean’s version.
Stephen Leonard, whose parents were regulars at the restaurant, shared this, “I never saw one of the Butchello’s there. I think that was because the restaurant did so well without their direct involvement, which allowed them to focus on the Castle and their other businesses. When you walked into the old L’Alcove Louie often greeted you before the door even closed behind you. And that reception always made you feel like family. I now look back and understand why some people that lived alone and had no family made the old L’Alcove part of their routine. It wasn’t the need for alcohol. It was the need for an environment where people recognize you and they care about you. That atmosphere was set by Louie and kept alive by Louie. I never saw him in a bad mood. And if he wasn’t talking, he was whistling or smiling. If I tried to smile as much as he did, I’d have very sore cheeks.”
John F. Coffey – John Coffey, better known as Jack to his family and friends was born in 1936 in Salamanca, NY. He served in the United States Army in Germany for two years and then served in the reserves out of Olean for another two years. His military service began his love of cooking, as he was a cook the time served in the Army/reserves.
Jack worked at Loretta Food and at the kitchen at the Castle Restaurant with Chef Lentola. Chef Lentola took Jack under his wing and taught him a lot.
In 1962, Jack became cook at the St. Bonaventure University Friary. He served for 45 years as head chef at the friary at St. Bonaventure University and retired in 2007.
In 1997, Jack was honored at the university during a special mass held during the Feast of St. Francis. Rev. Jack Zibert, OFM, guardian of the friary, stated, “Through his kitchen service Jack Coffey has been a part of the lives of the friars. He shares our Franciscan ideals and values. His joy and laughter uplift the entire spirit of the community and he has been a silent but key element of the St. Bonaventure Friary.
As part of the affiliation, Jack was presented with the symbols of the Franciscan faith and order as well as a certificate of affiliation from the Most Holy Name Providence of Friars and the Franciscan Order. He received the habit and the Book of the Gospel.
“We are grateful for this generous man who teaches us much by the power of his example and for his presence and service among us for all these years,” Father Jack said.
Eugene “Gene” Stopha – Gene Stopha was born on September 2, 1935 at Our Lady of Victory Hospital in Lackawanna, NY. He grew up in Bayview, near Buffalo. As a teenager, Gene worked in a bakery in Hamburg, NY. He joined the Army soon after his high school graduation in 1953. Gene learned to cook during his service in Korea. In 1955 he reenlisted and served as the cook for a 35-bed military hospital in Livorno, Italy until December 1957.
After his military service, Gene worked at a country club in Buffalo where he met a telephone company office manager and Allegany native named Jeanne Eaton. They were married in 1960 and moved to Allegany where Gene started working for Patsy Piccioli. Piccioli’s Restaurant was located on North Barry St, Olean, the current site of Jamestown Community College.
In the mid 1960’s the Stopha family moved to Arcade, NY and opened the Crystal Inn. This was one of the region’s largest fine dining restaurants. In the late 1960’s Gene moved to Bolivar and briefly ran a butcher shop. Gene went back to work for Patsy until Piccioli’s Restaurant was sold to Denis Goodamote. It became the Heritage Inn and both Gene and his wife Jeanne worked there. During this period, Gene also worked for the dining service at Alfred University.
In the early 70’s, Gene opened the Olean House with Neil Goodemote. The Olean House offered a wide range of foods that included an historic, fine dining location named “Hoop's Retreat,” an Italian restaurant named “Mama’s Parlour”, and a coffee shop and a pub. Gene not only cooked this diverse menu, but he also managed the kitchen. The Stopha children joined in the work at the Olean House. Jane was a waitress. Paula was the salad girl. Mark bussed tables and washed dishes. Jeanne filled in whatever task was needed. She also sewed beautiful historical dresses for the Hoop’s Retreat wait staff. When the Olean House closed in 1979, Gene went to cook at the Bradford Club in Bradford, PA. While working the long hours required of any professional chef, Gene also helped Jeanne with church suppers and other charitable dinners.
After 20 years, Gene retired from the kitchen. Since 2005, he has lived in Hilton Head, South Carolina. He answers cooking questions on the phone from his children and grandchildren who live as far away as Pennsylvania and Alaska. His passion for cooking and eating well (and his sense of humor in the kitchen!) lives on in all those who have enjoyed his food, from Korea to Italy to South Carolina and all the way back to Olean.
Richard “Richie” Piccioli -- Richard started his restaurant career at his father’s restaurant in the late 1940s as a busboy, salad maker and waiter. He expanded his responsibilities with preparing foods, and buying meats and groceries for the restaurant. In the early 1950s, he served four years in the United States Air Force returning to take over the bartending and managerial duties. This included paying all bills, hiring the employees, purchasing all liquors, beer and restaurant supplies. Richie continued working until his father sold the restaurant in 1967.
Richie took a change in careers with a job teaching school for 30 years. Once retired, he returned to the hospitality industry, bartending at the Elks Lodge and Moose Club in the 1990s. He catered parties for some of his father’s old customers. He officially hung up his apron and spatula when he retired from all restaurant activities during the late 1990s.
JACKIE ATTARD -- Jackie and Renato Attard moved to the United States after being married in Renato’s native Khartoum, Sudan Africa, to start their life together.
The business first started out with Jackie baking home-made pita bread and baklava, and selling it out of her home and through local grocery stores. From there it progressed into buying their first location, which at the time was a grocery store, located on North Union Street. The grocery store quickly became an international food store, as they started supplying imported meats, cheeses, spices and other ingredients, featuring items especially from their native Italian and Lebanese background. From there, Jackie’s Lebanese food started coming out and Renato started doing a few entrees as dinner specials… the rest, as they say is history.
They opened Attard’s in April 16, 1975.
Every dish seems to be cooked with TLC. Olean is fortunate to have some one who can prepare ethnic food that delights the taste buds of many in our community. The tabbouleh, babaganouch, homemade humus, perogis, and gyros are a delicacy, plus the atmosphere in the restaurant is inviting and warm.
Instrumental in bringing authentic international cuisine to Olean
She introduced foods and prepared them in a way that was unusual even for larger cities in the U.S. let alone Olean.
Attard’s became a mainstay of dining out in Olean, as it evolved from the little take-out shop, to the bigger restaurant. The whole family helped build a warm and welcoming place for the community to gather.
JOHN MALARA -- John Malara was born in 1951 in Santa Barbara, Reggio Calabria, Italy. In 1966, John came to America on a ship with his mother and brother, Domenic to meet up with his father, a sister and another brother who had come to America a short time prior to them. All of his belongings were packed into a trunk.
At 15 years old, John was not able to speak the language of his new home country. He entered into a first grade class at the school district where he sat in small desk with very young children. He had such a desire to learn about America he was willing to do all that it took.
John found work including being a caddy at the Bartlett Country Club, setting up pins at the Eagle’s Club bowling alley, a short-order clerk for Paul’s Steak House, as well as working as a bus boy and cook at the Castle Restaurant where he worked under Butch Butchello and under the supervision of Chef Anthony Lentola.
In 1972, he joined the U. S. Navy and was a cook on naval ships. He learned about the cuisine and culture of the countries that he visited. Discharged in 1977 from the Navy, John then graduated from Alfred Tech in 1979 in Restaurant Management.
John started working in 1980 with Dominic Renna at Renna’s Pizza in the Olean Center Mall. He was presented with the opportunity to purchase the shop. Shortly after, an agreement was signed; the business became Giovanni Renna’s Pizza, and was owned and operated by John Malara.
Renna’s has been in the mall since the mall opened. John has been in the food industry in some form or another since he was a very young man while also contributing to the Olean area business community with the longevity of Renna’s Pizza. He is an expert in the pizza tossing and pizza sauce making business. Renna’s Pizza has been sent around the world to Bosnia, Virgin Islands, Florida, California and more.
RICHARD ‘DICK’ MARCUS -- Presiding over the staff, the kitchens and restaurants, plus 150 guest rooms of the Olean House was Richard ‘Dick’ Marcus. He was seen moving about the hotel every day and often helping out on crowded nights with the food, carving the roast beef.
The Marcus family owned and ran the Olean House for almost 100 years in Downtown Olean. His grandfather, H.W. Marcus purchased the current incarnation of the hotel in the early 1900s, and ownership and management passed to his sons Leo, Mendell and his father Benjamin. In the late 1950s, Benjamin asked his son Dick Marcus to step in as manager, and although it was supposed to be for a short time, it was almost twenty years until he sold it to HUD for senior housing, just a the moment when motels were rising in use, hotels dropping off.
The Olean House was famous as a stopping place for traveling business people who would get off the Erie Lackawanna or Pennsylvania Railroads and come to the hotel for meals and rooms, walking up Union Street, or driven by "Taxi Joe" Magnano. It was a mainstay of downtown Olean, with "the coffee shop" which eventually was painted with murals of Olean in an earlier time. The coffee shop had a cadre of waitresses who stayed for years, were known by travelers and local business people who gathered there daily, and who served daily specials and normal menu items ranging from burgers and Sloppy Joes, to delicious fried chicken, pancakes, homemade pies, rice-custard pudding and much more. A team of chefs and bakers cooked morning to night.
There was also the Main Dining Room which had a more formal menu than the coffee shop, and at one time the Marcus family even hired a husband and wife chef team, Georges and Janinne Frue. They came to Olean, and added a French menu to the nightly offerings in the dining room!
On Friday nights the family introduced the Fish Fry, and hundreds of people lined up to get it, freshly flown in from the seashore each Friday. On Saturdays was the Smorgasbord, a long table filled with hundreds of delights, and long lines waited for that too, paying the high price of $3.25 for all you could eat.
The "Tap Room" a real English barroom was at the back of the hotel, and once a week prime ribs of beef were offered there. And often there would be banquets and weddings in the "ballroom" in the evenings and on the weekends. A free wedding cake was offered for each wedding.
Marketing was a skill that he possessed earlier than most in the industry and it brought in new and increased business. Dick offered special packages of room and meals for skiers coming to Holiday Valley or Ski Wing. Hundreds came from Canada, Cleveland, Pittsburgh to enjoy the good skiing and the good food, the spirited music in the tap room, and the general good will of our lovely town.
LOUIS V. ‘LITTLE LOUIE’ MARRA -- Louis V. Marra was instilled with a sense of hospitality, service and community at a very young age, as one of 7 children of Louis and MaryBarb Marra of Olean. Louie was also a part of a family-run restaurant operation that started when his father, the late Louie Marra, opened the former Downtown Deli in 1969.
His start in the restaurant business was at the Downtown Deli in Olean in 1984. Louie worked there until 1988 when the deli was destroyed by fire. From 1988-1994, Louie owned and operated Casey’s Steakhouse in Limestone, NY, and assisted with another family-owned and run restaurant, the Old Library Restaurant. As the doors to the steakhouse were closing due to lack of business growth, Louie opened the Café Marquis (Fred’s Breads) in the heart of downtown Olean. The café brought an expansion to catering service as well as wholesaler for baked goods to local eateries.
Louie was one of the founding committee members of the Taste of Olean, which began in August 1991. Like his father, Little Louie believed in these community events and how they add to the quality of life of the area. Louie also was instrumental in the organization of Farm City Days, a retail event in downtown. Louie was tragically killed in a one-car accident on July 9, 1999.
Although his service in the hospitality industry was short, his significant contributions to the restaurants and foods from Olean were great.
Three More Additions to the Olean Hospitality Wall of Fame 2012
The Greater Olean Area Chamber of Commerce and its Taste of Olean Event Committee have announced its sixth class of inductees to the Taste of Olean Hospitality Wall of Fame Awards program: Lou Russo; Nick Livoto; and Steve Hollowell. The Hospitality Wall of Fame recognizes individuals and/or businesses who have made a significant contribution and given exceptional service to the food service/ hospitality industry in the past and who may continue to do so. All have succeeded in excelling at all the most important elements of a great restaurant - inviting atmosphere, friendly staff and impeccable food in its stylish artistic presentation and its innovative flavor combination.
NICHOLAS LIVOTO -- Libratore Angelo Fratercangelo made his journey from Italy to America in 1904. With the help of his son Nicky, he opened a restaurant in 1948 at 475 North Union Street. Nicholas Fratercangelo, also known as “Little Nicky,” retired from his job at Clark Brothers in 1948 to assist his father in the management of Angee’s Restaurant.
Nicholas Livoto was one of Angee’s original employees. He was referred to as “Big Nick” because he was much bigger than Nicky Fratercangelo. Big Nick was the head chef at Angee’s for 44 years. He had a flare for serving up many a delicious meal. When he was in the kitchen you knew it wouldn’t be long before your favorite Angee’s meal was at your table ready to eat. Big Nick passed away in 1988 but sometimes on a busy Friday night, you can still hear him in the kitchen giving orders. (Big Nick is on the right.)
LOU RUSSO -- He had a voice that was impossible to forget, a voice that left audiences wanting more and brought crowds to their feet.
That voice has gone silent.
Noted baritone Louis “Lou” Russo was best known for performing his rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” before St. Bonaventure University basketball games, and “New York, New York” during halftime. But for more than two decades, he was also a regular performer at the Castle restaurant and at area events, nursing homes, fundraisers, weddings and funerals.
Born Sept. 22, 1922, a son of two Italian immigrants, Mr. Russo began singing at age 11. He picked up the talent from his father, Antonio. After graduating from Olean High School in 1941, he joined the Navy. Mr. Russo traveled the world during the four years he served in the U.S. Navy, and he spent time singing to wounded troops in Australia before ending up in New York City and New Jersey, singing with big bands. It was there that Mr. Russo met his wife, Mary, to whom he was deeply devoted. He was on his way to the big time, but instead returned to Olean with his beautiful wife Mary and worked at McGraw Edison for the next 32 years. Mr. Russo and Mary had one child together, a daughter who would give them five grandchildren.
Mr. Russo’s family, especially his nieces, nephews and grandchildren, “were his life.” He was very family-oriented. Lou was a genial, caring, sociable and well-liked performer who shared his singing talent with this community that he loved. When asked, Lou sang at weddings, special occasions, and charitable fundraisers.
For thirty years he sung the national anthem at the St. Bonaventure games free gratis. This came about when the Reilly Center opened in 1966 and Larry Weise, then the Bonnie coach, requested that Lou sing the anthem before the basketball game. There was lots of love that the St. Bonaventure University students had for Mr. Russo during his time singing at basketball games, and this love was universal.
Lou received the 1992 Golden Deeds award from the Exchange Club in May of that year. The club recognized him for a lifetime of sharing his talents as well as himself and most of all by singing the national anthem at the beginning of each St. Bona basketball games.
In 1997, Lou planned singing the music he loved with the Bob Lucia Big Band Orchestra. At St. Bona's annual homecoming in February 1998, Lou was presented with a plaque for his years of entertainment by the athletic administration. It was on this occasion that Lou sang his final national anthem before the Bonnies basketball game.
We miss you Lou, miss your friendly smile, your rich baritone voice and the joy your talent brought to many, many of us in this community.
STEVE HOLLOWELL -- Steven Hollowell was born and raised in Olean. His restaurant career began in early 1970s as a bus boy at the Castle Restaurant, owned at that time by Guerino “Butch” Butchello, and supervised by Al Lafredo.
After graduating from Olean High School, Steve attended Fredonia State College. While there, with a recommendation from Dan Butchello, he worked as a waiter at Rusch’s Restaurant in Dunkirk near Lake Erie.
He returned to Olean in 1973 and was employed at McGraw Edison for a short time before returning to the Castle as a banquet waiter. He advanced to banquet director, then to dining room manager, and finally to general manager. During these years, Steve had the honor of working with “Butch,” Danny, Jerry and David Butchello, along with learning much from Chef Anthony Lentola. Steve left the Castle in 1991 just prior to its closing.
A few months later, he was contacted by the owners of Moonwink’s Restaurant and asked to take over managing operations of their year-old fledging restaurant in Cuba, NY. Many of his customers and some of his staff from the Castle followed, which allowed Steve to quickly establish a solid foundation on which to grow. Strong support from shareholders has allowed Steve to continue to grow and expand the restaurant and bring it to the level of great food and fine service which he is accustomed to. Along with now being a shareholder, Steve has supervised many remodeling and expansion projects, worn every hat from maintenance, to cook, to bartender, to dishwasher, and everything in between with the same enthusiasm as his early years. He always listens to customers and co-workers suggestions, evaluates, and then implements the necessary ideas/strategies that will benefit the business. His dedication and love of the business has created a long and successful career, and he looks forward to another 20 years at Moonwinks.
Steve is a board member of the Cuba Chamber of Commerce and an Advisory Board member of Alfred State College Culinary Department. He resides in Cuba with his wife of 21 years, Tamra, and two children, Olivia & Sean.
Four More Additions to the FIFTH Olean Hospitality Wall of Fame
NEIL and DENIS GOODEMOTE -- May 1965 - The original Beef ‘n’ Barrel opened! Neil and Denis Goodemote, brothers and owners, opened to a crowd. Much interest was generated in this new restaurant, which brought Beef on Wick to the Olean area, by the creative signage out front as the building was renovated and this new restaurant was created. The Olean Times Herald covered the opening with pictures and articles. The line to get into the restaurant started at the front door and wound all the way up to the Olean House. The Beef ‘n’ Barrel soon became a very popular dining spot for many miles around and was frequented by the Bonnies basketball players, including the famous Bob Lanier. Of course, the rest is history.
June 1967 - Neil and Denis purchased Piccioli’s restaurant from Patsy Piccioli, totally remodeled it and later opened it as The Heritage Inne, which became a white tablecloth, fine dining establishment. Later Denis took possession of The Heritage Inne and Neil took possession of the Beef ‘n’ Barrel. Neal ran The Beef ‘n’ Barrel until 1972 at which time he sold it to the present owner, James McAfee.
1973 - Neil leased the Olean House property and completely remodeled and renovated it into a series of individual dining facilities under one roof, which he called The Village Green. The Village Green consisted of the remodeled Coffee Shop, (complete with the cleaned and restored wall mural which depicted life in Olean “back in the day”) which was a popular spot for breakfast, lunch and dinner. They featured specials each day as well as the bottomless cup of coffee, brewed with Artesian well water. The Coffee Shop was a busy place, frequented by many area business people and merchants, back when the Olean uptown area was THE place to shop. In addition, The Village Green had an Italian restaurant called Mama’s Parlour, two remodeled dining rooms called Hoops Retreat (named after Major Hoops, an historical figure in Olean history) and The Courtyard, and The Lounge, which was the remodeled former taproom at the rear of the building.
As you can see, Neil and Denis Goodemote contributed greatly during their time in Olean, by providing quality dining establishments that were extremely popular in their day. Had it not been for their creativity and foresight, The Beef ‘n’ Barrel, which is probably one of the most popular restaurants in the area today, would not exist.
JAMES PAPPAS - James Pappas owned and operated the Texas Hot Restaurant at 263 North Union Street in Olean for approximately thirty years, from the early 1920’s to the 1950’s. The restaurant was located where the present Rite-Aid Drug Store is now located.
The Texas Hot Lunch was opened 24 hours a day and was particularly noted for its famous Texas Hots and sauce. The original recipe was produced by Mr. Pappas, a Greek immigrant who arrived in this country in his teens and who had no developed culinary skills. He often worked eighteen to twenty hours a day to make a success of his business, serving as the chief chef, waiter, and manager. Though his English was not perfect, he strove daily to make his place of business a more perfect one, in which his customers were offered generous portions of quality food, a relaxed atmosphere, and the opportunity for his customers to sit and socialize without being rushed. In spite of the little time he had for himself and his family, he served as an Air Raid Warden, joined a local fraternal organization, and never, ever failed to exercise his precious right to vote.
The Texas Hot closed sometime in the 1950’s due to Mr. Pappas’ health related issues. When he passed away in 1967, countless individuals whom his family did not know, came to the funeral home and told the same story repeated over and over; that Jim Pappas and the Texas Hot had fed half of Olean free during the depression years, and that anyone who had come to the restaurant and couldn’t pay, never left without being fed.
The Texas Hot Lunch was a popular restaurant for people of all levels and ages. Customers usually had to stand in line to get their Texas Hots and businesses often called ahead for as many as 40-50 “hots” to go. Fifty years after the Texas Hot closed, his daughter continues to receive letters from all over the country asking for the sauce recipe and telling her that they have never had any as good as her dad’s.
Jim Pappas was never rich, in terms of dollars and cents. He loved the Olean community, his work, his family, and his adopted country. Each morning, upon arising, his wife, Mary, and daughters, Rose and Betty, would hear him say “God Bless America.” He was a special boss, with loyal workers: two waitresses worked for him the entire duration of his business, as did a baker who made 100 pies daily.
Jim Pappas had a successful business, and though others in his place might have guarded his secret recipe selfishly, he willingly offered it to many others who opened restaurants in the area: Mr. Gust Hastas Of Hastas’ Candy Kitchen in Franklinville, Mr. Jim Rigas and Mr. George Raptis of the Wellsville Texas Hots, and Mr. Mike Psathas of the Olean City Lunch, among others. Mr. Pappas was an individual who had a sense of gratitude for his customers, his community, and his adopted country.
PAUL AND MARY PSATHAS - Michael Psathas, Paul Psathas’ dad, operated the City Lunch bar and restaurant on North Union Street at the site that housed Hasta’s Restaurant. Paul with his wife Mary continued on in restaurant splendor. They had a dining car manufactured in Fairfield, NJ, and shipped to Olean. It opened as Paul’s Diner near the site that today houses Jamestown Community College. The couple also operated the State Diner on West State Street and built a new Paul’s Diner, later changed to Paul’s Steak House on West State Street, too.
Paul’s Steak House, known for exquisite dining, also was known for the fiberglass steer, 17-feet high from hoof to horns, ordered from Venice, CA, placed on the roof! The lounge and five dining rooms seating 700, the business operated, with Mrs. Psathas providing entertainment on the piano and organ and Mr. Psathas on the drums, until it was destroyed by fire January 1976.
ANTHONY ZAMPOGNA - Anthony Zampogna was born in Westline, PA on December 16, 1920 to Italian immigrants Giuseppe and Theresa Costerella Zampogna. He was the 4th of 11 children. When he was a young boy his family moved to Kane, Pa., where his father owned a butcher shop and was an avid gardener. His mother was noted for her cooking and baked goods. Both instilled in him an interest in cooking.
After high school, Anthony worked at the Texas Hot Restaurant in Kane. On August 22, 1942, he married Margaret Perilla. He enlisted in the US Army Air Corps in 1942, where he served as a cook until his promotion to Officers Club Mess Sergeant at the Drew Field Army Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida.
Following his discharge, he returned to Kane, Pa, where Anthony was the manager and cook for the Kane Elks Club. He then became the head chef at the Kane Country Club. In the mid 1950’s he moved to Cleveland, Ohio where he was a sou-chef at the Canterbury Country Club.
In 1959, Anthony was hired as chef for the Franciscan Friary by St. Bonaventure University. In the early 1960’s, he was promoted to Manager of Food Services for the University where he served until his retirement in 1979. At his retirement, he was specially honored by the President and Trustees for his years of service to the Bonaventure community. Among his many achievements were the creation of the St. Bonaventure Rathskeller and the opening of the St. Bonaventure Clubhouse Restaurant. During his tenure at St. Bonaventure, he provided food services for many area civic organization functions. He especially enjoyed sponsoring the Special Olympics Track and Field Day Competitions held on the school campus.
In 1979, he and his son Michael, along with their wives Margaret and Betsy, purchased the Ho-sta-geh Restaurant in Olean where he was manager and chef until his retirement in 1990. Under their ownership the Ho-Sta-Geh was remodeled and updated into one of the premier eating establishments in Western New York. Anthony died at his home in Olean on March 1, 2000.
2010 Olean Hospitality Wall of Fame
Daniel Fessenden -- Daniel “Danny” Fessenden was born in 1910 in northern Pennsylvania. After leaving school in the 8th grade to help support his family of five siblings, he went to work in a hotel in Bradford, Pa., assisting the cook in the kitchen. He married in the mid-1930s and soon moved to Olean to take a job that would become his career in the Olean House kitchens.
World War II interrupted his career when Danny joined the Merchant Marines, serving in both the Atlantic and Pacific. After his service, Danny returned to the Olean area to resume his culinary career working for the Marcus family, owners of the former Olean House hotel. He would remain there for nearly 45 years except for a brief stint working around the corner at the Olean City Club.
In his years at the Olean House, Danny was Head Chef, butcher and baker in the kitchens that served the hotel. The Coffee Shop, the Dining Room, and the Ballroom all served the WNY Friday night staple - the weekly fish fry. Saturday nights, the Dining Room and Ballroom were opened into one large restaurant for the famous smorgasbord, featuring his prime rib, Swiss-steak, lobster bisque, and countless other items all prepared in house. Sunday meant Danny's famous chicken and biscuits. Danny developed and prepared all his recipes from memory.
Cooking was Danny's whole life, at work by 7 a.m. and staying until 9 p.m. or later, seven days a week, 365 days a year. In 45 years at the Olean House, he took only two week-long vacations.
When the Marcus family sold the hotel to the Olean Housing Authority, Danny relocated to L'Alcove Restaurant working there for about five years until he left to help open Mr. Ed's Restaurant. He remained there as a cook until health concerns forced his retirement. Danny died on August 4, 1979, but his mark on Olean's culinary history is remembered to this day by those that loved his food and those that worked with him.
Robert Styles -- Robert Styles has owned and operated The Chuck Wagon Restaurant for 35 years and has been a part of its storied history since its earliest years, working there as a young boy. As a restaurant owner, Robert has relentlessly pursued the same high quality standards for his food, customer service and cleanliness that have been the cornerstone of the restaurant's reputation and success since its founding in 1955 by Robert's father-in-law.
The Chuck Wagon has truly been a family endeavor with the whole family contributing to its daily operation. Over the early years, his family was always working by his side; his wife, Judith, welcoming guests at the door and balancing the books at home, their children scrubbing dishes, busing tables or sweeping the parking lot.
“We Love Hungry People,” as the familiar Chuck Wagon signage reads, was never just a slogan but Robert's mission for his restaurant, promising patrons a warm welcome and a made-to-order “home-cooked” meal. He always said that the “customer was king” and he tried to treat them that way. That customer culture still exists today thanks to Robert's years of dedication and hard work.
Robert still makes most of the specialty items himself from secret-unwritten family recipes handed down through generations since the founding but never straying far from their roots at the Chuck Wagon. Homemade quality never seems to go out of style and, with a name like Robert “Styles,” it just has to be a little unique.
Robert continues to serve the people of Olean with love and gratitude by setting a standard of excellence to be felt and shared by all who frequent The Chuck Wagon.
Jim McAfee -- The Beef 'N' Barrel has grown since Jim McAfee bought it from Neal Goodemote in the spring of 1971. Employed as bartender and manager of the restaurant, he took the opportunity to become owner with the intention of being in it “for the long run.” At the start, the restaurant could only seat 75 guests. Long lines of customers at the lone entrance and the opportunity to buy additional real estate encouraged the first of the expansions which doubled the seating capacity and added another entrance. Other additions have increased seating to 250 guests and the restaurant still has lines.
Although its famous beef bar and homemade apple pie have been the Beef 'N' Barrel's most popular items, the menu has seen changes through the years. Today the menu consists of specialty drinks, starters such as the flowering onion, green salads, homemade soups, side orders like hot German potato salad, Beef Bar, ground round, desserts, house favorites, char grilled choice steaks, and the daily lunch and dinner specials.
Priorities have remained the same over the years. The food is most important and a quiet atmosphere follows close behind. “People can come in and just have a piece of apple pie and coffee,” Jim said, “We always take care of the food and the rest takes care of itself.”
According to Jim, a key to maintaining a successful business is the staff. “I have an excellent crew. I wouldn't be where I am today if it weren't for these people.”
Anthony Bassano -- Anthony Bassano began his food service career while still attending high school and working at the Castle Restaurant, assisting the cooks. He later worked with Chef Lentola, learning basic cooking skills and helping create the Loretto dressing recipe.
Tony enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1952 and attended the Naval Cook and Baker School in San Diego, Ca. After being discharged from the Navy, he returned to the Castle in 1954 where he participated in all phases of culinary work.
In 1964, he began his tenure at St. Bonaventure University, which spanned 30 years. Starting as a chef and assistant food service manager, he assumed the role of Director of Food Services in 1979. In this position, he was responsible for making the menus and feeding all the university students and management of The Clubhouse Restaurant. In addition, Tony was also responsible for all campus catering and special functions which included the Olean High School Alumni Reunion banquets, the Jim Kelly Football Camp and all summer conferences held on campus.
In 1980, Tony received The Department of the Army Certificate of Achievement for continued, outstanding support of the St. Bonaventure Reserve Officers' Training Corps in the area of food service. Tony was honored as a member of Who's Who Worldwide for demonstrating leadership and achievement in the food service industry in 1992.
Other accomplishments include assisting with the first annual St. Bonaventure Church festival, now know as “Bonafest,” and St. John's Italian Festival. Retiring from St. Bonaventure in 1994, he continues to volunteer for various functions, sharing his experience and vast knowledge of the food service industry.
2009 Olean Hospitality Wall of Fame
3rd Annual Taste of Olean Hospitality of Fame Winners (L-R) Anthony Fratercangelo accepting for his father, Nicholas “Nick” Fratarcangelo; Enzo Bagazzoli accepting for his parents, Quinto and Dora Bagazzoli; Joe Marra accepting for Louis Marra and William “Bill” Augostini.
Quinto and Dora Bagazzoli
- Quinto and Dora Bagazzoli, both born in Sarnano, Italy, came to America and started Quinto’s Restaurant, located at 206 Coleman Street, Olean in 1980. In 1954, after working with his brothers in a small cafe in his hometown of Sarnano, Italy, a 22-year-old young man departed for Genova, Italy aboard a ship named Andrea Doria heading to America, the land of opportunity.
While Quinto was working in Bradford, PA, a famous local restaurateur named Patsy Piccioli met Quinto and asked him to come to Olean and be a chef for his restaurant. Four years later, he returned to Sarnano, Italy to marry his long time girlfriend Dora Manili. Returning in February of 1960, both Quinto and Dora began working at Piccioli’s Restaurant until its closing. At that time Quinto went on to become one of the opening chefs at the new Holiday Inn hotel in Olean.
Another opportunity arose in 1969 when Quinto was hired as head chef for the Bartlett Country Club, where he was employed for 10 years. Quinto and Dora hosted and catered many private parties for many years because he was known for his expertise in cooking wild game and fish dinners. He taught Dora this art of cooking and she became his right hand partner in the kitchen. During this time, Quinto dreamed to open his own restaurant and he began planning for this day.
On September 25, 1980, his dream of opening a restaurant came to fruition, as the next seven years both Quinto and Dora enjoyed the opportunity to cook while working together. Quinto’s Restaurant was located at 206 Coleman Street in Olean, NY and was a small family run Italian restaurant, with seating for 40 people. Customers enjoyed the Italian cuisine as many become frequent faces especially for the homemade lunched and the specials provide on a daily basis.
Quinto and Dora hosted an Election Day Dinner, open to both Democrats and Republicans at their restaurant. The traditional dinners continued for many years. The theme is to compete in the weeks prior to Election Day but then wine and dine as friends. After the passing of Quinto Bagazzoli on April 27, 1987, Dora Bagazzoli continued the dream of Quinto by operating the family restaurant for 11 more years with the help of her son, Enzo Bagazzoli. On August 31, 1998 Quinto’s Restaurant served its last meal, not to customers but to friends of the Bagazzoliís. The two signs over the door leading to the restaurant said it all, No one leaves here hungry and You are a stranger here but once.
Bill Augostini -
Bill started in the restaurant business in 1952, washing dishes at the L’Alcove Restaurant on North 4th street in Olean. After graduating from Olean High School in 1955, he continued his education and received his degree in Food Service and Restaurant Management from Erie Community College, in Buffalo, NY. He worked at the Castle Restaurant until 1963 when he became the director of Food Service for the Olean Public School District.
Bill purchased the Der Hut and Tavern in 1973 and in 1978 changed the name to “Augostini’s”, with Italian--American cuisine.
Bill and Joyce retired in 1991. He is thankful for his family and friends for a successful and happy business.
- Libratore Angelo Fratercangelo made his journey from Italy to America in 1904. Like most Italian immigrants, Angelo could not speak English when he arrived, however, he successfully made his mark in the restaurant business. With the help of his son Nicky, he opened a restaurant in 1948 at 475 North Union Street. Angees Restaurant remains at the same location today, some 50 years later. It is now owned and operated by his grandson, Anthony.
Nicholas Fratercangelo, also known as "Little Nicky," retired from his job at Clark Brothers in 1948 to assist his father in the management of Angees Restaurant. In the early 1960's Angelo retired and passed the restaurant on to Nicky. For the next 25 years, Nicky added a personal touch which made the restaurant what it is today. From the introduction of pizza to his trademark white shirts, Nicky's ideas and ideals made Angees into a favorite meeting and eating place for the hometown crowd.
Nicky retired in the 1980's. His retirement came partly due to ill health, but mostly because he wanted to see his sons carry on a part of his life that he loved so much. Nicky passed away in February of 1998 but up until a week before his death you could find him every morning at the front table in Angees visiting with old friends and making new ones.
Louis L. Marra
- Louis Marra was born in 1936 and was a life long citizen of Olean, NY. Louie’s dedication and commitment was lived through his love of Olean and of feeding people, this bringing joy, happiness and pleasure to many. Louie’s venture into the restaurant business began in 1968 and ended in 1990. He took great pride in his dream and desire of successfully being able to give to Olean his gift of restaurant hospitality.
His family treasures his gift and will always hold dear all our years of working together as the Louie Marra family led by an amazing personality self achieved entrepreneur.
Louie had a very diverse history of restaurants with each of them giving to and being a part of Olean in their individual way. The many entities include: The Downtown Delli, Downtown Delli/Rack and Rib Room, Café Marquis, Pasta Luigi’s, Casey’s Restaurant, Old Library Bed and Breakfast and The Old Library Restaurant.
His venture into the hospitality business ended with his sudden passing in 1990, however his spirit lives on in the hearts and minds of his family, employees and customers. He lived and loved it all.
2008 Olean Hospitality Wall of Fame
Lucia “Lou” Bardenett 1896-1986
Lucia (Lucy, Lou) Allegretta was born in Olean, NY in 1896. She met her future husband, Humbert (Red) Bardenett, while he was delivering bread to her home in north Olean. Married in 1914, they operated the family bakery from 1923 to 1934 on Railroad Ave. across from the former Pennsy Railroad depot, which is now part of the Olean JCC campus. In 1934 they opened Bardenett's Grocery at 435 North Union Street and for a short period were in partnership with Lucillo Testi.
Lou was a vibrant woman who opened Lou's Italian Kitchen at 301 North Barry Street in 1931. Taking on a business venture was a rarity for a woman at that time. She drew from her family's own southern Italian (Calabrian) and her husband's northern Italian (Lombardian) backgrounds to proudly present both cuisines to her patrons. In 1946, Lou sold her Barry Street restaurant to good friend Pasquale (Pat) Piccioli.
She soon re-entered the business on Rock City Road, just a few miles south of Olean. With the help of her husband, son Jim, and daughter-in-law Wanda, Lou opened Lucia's Restaurant in 1949. Her homemade cooking drew loyal customers from the Olean community as well as from Bradford and Buffalo. Her motto, “Abbondanza!” was especially appreciated by the “Bona boys” during the Depression since it was reflected in the extra-generous portions she served them. Lou retired in 1965 and sold Lucia's to Louie and Nancy Giannechini. In 1981, Mayor William O. Smith presented Lou with a Key to the City for her work as the first president and a founding member of St. Ann's Lodge in 1924.
Lou's love of people and cooking was evident in the care she took in preparing meals; she was happiest when sharing her food with friends, neighbors, and especially her family throughout her 89 years.
Carl Iseman started working in Olean, NY for Louis and MaryBarb Marra in 1975 at the Downtown Deli and The Rack and Rib Room. In 1982, he helped open and operate The Old Library Restaurant under the supervision of the Marras. After Louis Marra’s death in 1990, he continued to be instrumental in the everyday operations of the kitchen until his retirement at age 78 in 2003.
Carl is noted for his long hours of dedication and commitment to quality food, always making sure the customer was fully satisfied with their dining experience. Living through a very tough time in our country’s history and serving in WWII, Carl’s values of customer service, hard work and food cost will never be matched. To have a chef of Carl’s caliber and dedication for 28 years is priceless. The Marra family will be forever thankful and his legacy will always be treasured.
John Sawaya, Sr.
John and Betty Sawaya heard an historic building, a funeral home, on East State Street was for sale. Investigating and loving the building, they made an offer and it was accepted. With the help of some builders, John converted the upper part of the building's huge garage into two apartments. First moving into one of the apartments and then into the newly remodeled building, they rented the two apartments.
A friend who was a chef insisted John should convert the building into a restaurant and promised he could make an excellent menu. John believes in his being that he really wanted to do this all along so they took on the challenge. As John says, “Believe me, I would have had trouble boiling water!” They shopped around for restaurant furniture and put together “The Century Manor.” The name came from the building that even then was over 100 years old.
It wasn't easy that a “person from below the tracks” had the audacity to open a restaurant on East State but they were successful from day one. The chef lived up to his promise and was able to produce an incredible menu. They applied for a liquor license and a year later in 1952 the liquor board issued it.
With a lot of work and perseverance, they have been able to make “The Century Manor” the great restaurant that it is today. Working with the chefs that have been employed over the years, John is “finally able to boil water” and they continue to get better and better.
Louis and Nancy Giannechini
The Giannechini’s purchased Lucia’s Reteaurant from Lucy Bardenett in 1965 and ran the restaurant until 2000. Louis was head/top chef at the restaurant, while Nancy was hostess and restaurant manager. The Giannechini also had help from their two daughters and son with the restaurant business.
First Inductees to Olean's Hospitality Wall of Fame
Butchello, Lentola and Picciolo, Italian immigrants honored at the Taste of Olean!
New this year, the GOACC and its Taste of Olean Event Committee honored three individuals with the 2007 Taste of Olean Hospitality Wall of Fame Awards. The Hospitality Wall of Fame recognized individuals and/or businesses who have made a significant contribution and given exceptional service to the food service/ hospitality industry in the past and who may continue to do so.
“We are thrilled to sponsor the Hospitality Wall of Fame, a program designed to recognize the dedication in the development of the hospitality industry in the greater Olean area,” stated John Sayegh, GOACC’s Chief Operating Officer. “GOACC is proud to announce the first class of the Wall of Fame awards: late Guerino “Butch” Butchello and Chef Anthony Lentola from the Castle Restaurant, and the late Chef Pasquale “Patsy” Piccioli. All three have succeeded in excelling at all the most important elements of a great restaurant - inviting atmosphere, friendly staff and impeccable food in its stylish artistic presentation and its innovative flavor combination.