UTICA — Mohawk Valley Garden has finalized the purchase of Babe’s Macaroni Grill & Bar on Genesee Street in North Utica.
Mohawk Valley Garden — which is run by Robert Esche — acquired the property and took over operational control of the restaurant Wednesday, according to a news release from the company.
The restaurant will now be known as Babe’s at Harbor Point, which Mohawk Valley Garden believes will pay homage to the ongoing revitalization project happening across the street.
"Our vision is to make Babe’s at Harbor Point the best affordable restaurant for families, the local community and out-of-towners in the region," said Esche in the release. "We will build the Babe’s name back up to be synonymous with quality food, affordability, cleanliness and a fun atmosphere. We also want our City of Utica and entirety of the Mohawk Valley to be proud when everything is complete."
Babe’s will be run by Jeff Stone, president of ORB Food & Beverage, who previously ran the restaurant from 1997 to 2015. He left to work full-time at the Adirondack Bank Center.
Stone currently leads the operations for 72 Tavern & Grill, as well as the concession and catering services for the Comets, Utica City Football Club and all concerts and special events at the Adirondack Bank Center.
"While I have not been at Babe’s for over four years, I look forward to returning to a place that has both a rich history of good food as well as an infinite amount of potential," said Stone in the release. "Our goal is to restore the great things about Babe’s from the start of the 21st century while also adding and modernizing the facility."
Babe’s at Harbor Point will remain open while Mohawk Valley Garden reorganizes operations, updates the facility and rebrands the restaurant. There will be renovations outside and inside the restaurant, which will be completed in phases over the next 12 to 15 months. There also will be minor changes to the menu in the coming weeks, the release said.