Utica Comets company takes over harbor-area restaurant


The ownership behind the Utica Comets professional hockey team, Utica City FC indoor soccer team and Utica’s Aqua Vino restaurant has bought Babe’s Macaroni Grill and Bar with plans to rename it and bring in new management.

Mohawk Valley Garden CEO Robert Esche announced Wednesday that his company has closed the purchase of the 80 N. Genesee St. restaurant and will rename it Babe’s at Habor Point, a reference to the nearby ongoing revitalization project.

The restaurant will be managed by Jeff Stone, president of ORB Food and Beverage. Stone managed Babe’s from 1997-2015, when he left to work full time at the Adirondack Bank Center.

He leads operations for 72 Tavern and Grill, concessions and catering for the hockey and soccer teams and concerts and special events there.

Babe’s at Harbor Point will remain open while Mohawk Valley Garden reorganizes operations, rehabs the facility, and rebrands the restaurant, Esche said. MVG will renovate both the inside and outside of the restaurant in phases over the next 12-15 months.

“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,” Esche said.

“We also want our city of Utica and entirety of the Mohawk Valley to be proud when everything is complete,” he added.


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