Batavia Downs’ Gatsby Bar is ready to serve
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Batavia Downs’ Gatsby Bar is ready to serve

Feb 9, 2019

BATAVIA — It was an area that was off-limits until midday Friday, when Batavia Downs was ready to cut the ribbon on its newest addition — The Gatsby Bar just outside of Fortunes Restaurant.

A crowd of staff, local officials and others were there for the formal opening of Gatsby, The bar was said to be a place where people can gather while waiting to go in to dinner at Fortunes or just as a place to relax and have a drink.

Western Regional Off-Track Betting President and CEO Henry Wojtaszek said it’s a matter of figuring out how to serve patrons better than the competition.

“This is one of the ways we do it. We want to make this a viable facility where we have excellent customer service, whether it’s having dinner and coming here with your family or coming here with your friends and enjoying sporting events,” he said.

“The design of The Gatsby Bar was based on the Art Deco style, which was popular in the ‘20s,” Wojtaszek said. “The bar will provide top-of-the-line spirits for everybody here. We’re really looking forward to what it can bring to us here at Batavia Downs. Expansions like this offer a number of amenities to our customers, which we believe, in turn, will increase our revenue, which will allow us to return more resources to the community — which is why we’re here in the first place.”

Assemblyman Steve Hawley was unable to attend, but Batavia Downs received a proclamation from him.

As the lights were turned off again to restore the ambiance of The Gatsby, Director of Marketing Ryan Hasenauer talked more about the bar that just officially opened.

“We’re going to have some high-end spirits, some hand-crafted cocktails. It seems to be all the rage in Buffalo and Rochester and some of your bigger metropolises — some of those really cool bars where’s there’s bartenders ... that are making some really cool cocktails,” he said. “It’s really a nice place just outside of Fortunes Restaurant, which gets quite busy on Fridays, Saturdays and other days as well.

Hasenauer noted this is the first part of Batavia Downs’ expansion.

“We’ve got add-ons to Fortunes Restaurant, add-ons to 34 Rush,” he said.

“We’re going to be able to allow more patrons to come in and enjoy themselves in a setting where if you’re having a gathering for some sort of event ... you can enjoy having a party in one of these places.”

By Briann Quinn, Batavia Daily News

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