These 6 restaurants go over the top with Christmas decorations
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These 6 restaurants go over the top with Christmas decorations

Nov 26, 2018

An annual November ritual for Nick Pearl is a trip to Stokoe Farms, a Scottsville farm that grows Christmas trees and lots more. There, the 36-year-old Scottsville resident will head to the largest trees on the lot — he estimates that last year's tree was almost 17 feet tall — and cut it down.

He and his father, Clay Pearl, 66, will decorate the tree at ground level, and then will use a rented 45-foot lift to pick it up and place it on the roof of his business, Salvatore's Saloon in Scottsville. A large lighted Santa and reindeer will join it there.

“I love Christmas," Pearl said. "I’ve always been a Christmas nut. I love seeing the look on the kids faces when they see the huge tree with way too many lights on it.”

Salvatore's Saloons is one of a handful of restaurants in the Rochester area that goes all out when it comes to decking out the restaurant for the season. Here are six of them.

Salvatore's Saloon


Pearl, who owns three Salvatore's franchises, has been decking out the location at 11 Main Street in Scottsville since he opened it three years ago. In addition to the rooftop decorations, he adds garlands, wreaths and lights — he stopped counting at 12,000 lights in 2017.

The pizza shop will open at 6:30 p.m. on Thanksgiving, and he will turn on the lights at 7 p.m. They will stay lit throughout the night, and will not be lit again until Scottsville's annual Parade of Lights on Dec. 1

That afternoon, the village's Main Street will be closed for activities including ice skating, carriage rides, a magician, food trucks, crafts and a candy cane hunt to businesses around the village.

A fire truck parade of lights, bearing Santa on one of the vehicles, will arrive by 6:15 p.m., and Santa will light the decorations at the saloon for the season. The event will conclude with a fireworks display at 8 p.m. Shuttle bus locations to the will be available around the village.

The Red Osier


Tim Adams began a lifelong Christmas light hobby while growing up on a farm in East Bethany, Genesee County. When he was 16 and got a job, he spent more than $1,000 from his own pocket to decorate every tree in the yard; he even borrowed a man lift in the process.

His budget has increased substantially since then. When Tim Adams, now 38, together with Steven Foster, 39, purchased The Red Osier Landmark Restaurant in 2016, they spent roughly $12,000 on lights and decorations. 

“Tim is passionate about Christmas lights — completely passionate," Stevens said.

Last year, Foster and Adams decided to step up and take things to the next level. Spending another $12,000, they doubled the number of lights to 2 million, while also switching to LED lights that use less power. This year, the restaurant will add new themes and the number of lights will grow to 2.5 million in all.


Adams owns his own 60-foot boom list, which he uses to drape towering evergreens with lights. Buggies, carriages and antique farm equipment nestled amid the trees will be embellished with lights. A wonderland of animated gingerbread characters will frolic behind the parking lot.

Whereas the exterior represents Adams' over-the-top vision, the interior is Foster's more subdued creation. The accents are tasteful and festive, in keeping with a renovation that included new paint and wood grain floors. Christmas music adds the audio backdrop. 

The Red Osier host a public event for its holiday lights display on Mondays, Dec. 3 and 10, from 5 to 8 p.m. Families and children are welcome to roam the grounds and meet Santa. Its sandwich trailer will be on hand, selling roast beef sandwiches, chili, hot cocoa, salt potatoes and Christmas cookies.

The Red Osier opens for dinner at 4 p.m. from Tuesday through Saturday. It opens at 1 p.m. on Sunday. It is closed Mondays. The Red Osier is at 6492 Main St. in Stafford; call (585) 343-6972.

Red Fedele's Brook House 

Red Fedele, who turns 80 on Nov 28, runs the restaurant along with his children Christina, Tony, Billy, Raelynn, Lisa, Sam and Michael. You can see their names, as well as those of the grandchildren, on stockings hung in the restaurant with care. 

"My father really, really loves Christmas and colors and decorations,” said Christina Fedele-King. It takes six weeks for the family to decorate. They generally start decorating around Nov. 1.

"As soon as the stores come out with decorations, then we start,” Christina said. “It seems to get earlier and earlier every year.” They plan to light the display the day on Nov. 23, the day after Thanksgiving.

Colorful inflatable and plastic decorations greet visitors outside the entrance. The spacious restaurant, which seats 160, as well as the bar area and banquet room, has decorations everywhere. You will find traditional carolers, along with characters from Peanuts, Sesame Street and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. On the patio behind the restaurant is another grouping of light-up decorations centered around a large plastic nativity scene.

"Each year we always add something new," Christina said.

Red Fedele's Brook House, at 920 Elmridge Center Drive in Greece, is open for lunch from noon to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday (the dinner menu is also available at lunchtime). It is open for dinner from 4  to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 4  to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday; and 3 to 8 p.m. Sunday.

Its annual Breakfast with Santa is 9 a.m. to noon Dec. 15, and it sells out well in advance. Call (585) 723-9988 for prepaid reservations.

Genesee Brew House

More than 400 kegs make up the keg tree at Genesee Brew House. Jamie Germano

The giant Christmas tree made of empty beer kegs at the Genesee Brew House has become a holiday tradition that attracts local and national attention. Last year, a crowd estimated at 3,000 people — triple the previous year's total — showed up to watch as the switch was flipped on 2,100 feet of LED rope lights illuminating the tree-shaped tower.

This year's event, from 6 to 9 p.m. on Dec. 7, will be bigger and better with food trucks, beer trucks, a new beer release, straw bales for seating and a large sled in the parking lot. 

The three-story tree, made of 430 empty stainless-steel beer kegs, stands 27 feet tall in the Genesee Brew House parking lot. A rotating Genesee neon sign usually adorns the top. 

The man behind the tree is Mike Gaesser, director of packaging innovation whose title changes to "keg tree mastermind" at this time of year. Construction on the keg tree starts the week after Thanksgiving, and something new is added each year. This year the area surrounding the brew house will have more decorations. 

The Brew House is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. The Brew House is at 25 Cataract St.; call (585) 263-9200.

D&R Depot Restaurant

The D&R Depot in Le Roy is a cozy spot that seats 75. It doesn't have too much space to squeeze in a lot of holiday decorations. So where to make a statement with its holiday decorations? On the ceiling, of course.

The former train depot suspends a smallish Christmas tree, surrounded by gifts, toys and even a running train, from its ceiling. The tree has been a tradition for 27 years. 

"People love Christmas here and the tree adds a lot," said Sean Valdes, who owns the restaurant with his wife, Jennifer, along with original owner, Nancy Nickerson, who at 86 is still a daily presence at the restaurant. Christmas Eve is a busy night at the restaurant, which has many churches nearby.

D&R Depot has a different decorating theme each year — this year the theme is nutcrackers. To add to the excitement, it holds an annual contest to guess the number of the themed elements in the restaurant; the person who is closest wins a $300 cash prize.

In addition to the tree, the restaurant is also decorated tastefully with white lights, green garland and even some right-side-up trees.

The D & R Depot Restaurant is open 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily at 63 Lake St. in Le Roy. Call (585) 768-6270 for reservations and information.

American Hotel of Lima

Visiting the American Hotel in Lima is like stepping into a setting for a holiday movie on The Hallmark Channel. The three-story, flat-roof Federal-style hotel was built in 1861, and has been run by generations of the Reynolds family since 1920. Currently, the brother-sister team of Pat and Rose Reynolds own and manage the historic business.

The hotel's restaurant is best known for its homemade soups; it offers six each day from more than 400 different recipes in all.

As in a scene from a holiday movie, the extended Reynolds family spends the day after Thanksgiving decking out the hotel for the holidays. Sister-in-law Kathie Reynolds takes charge of the decorations, drawing from items that have accumulated over the decades and stored in the hotel basement.

"She could decorate 50 different trees with all the decorations she has in that room," said Pat Reynolds.

One item that sets the American Hotel apart from other places: a real tree, 14 feet tall, in its back dining room. It is always decorated in a different theme; this year's will be silver and blue.

"It’s a tradition that we have every year. The tree is always a feature because it’s always decorated so nicely and it’s different every year," said Pat Reynolds.

The American Hotel is open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5  to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. It is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and and noon to 8 p.m. Sunday. It is closed Monday. It is at 7304 E. Main St. in Lima; call (585) 624-9464.

This story first ran in 2017 and has been updated for 2018. Do you have a favorite restaurant that does an especially beautiful job with holiday decorations? Send your idea, and perhaps a picture, to

By Tracy Schuhmacher, Democrat and Chronicle

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