A vibrant agricultural society was developed in the Genesee Valley soon after the American Revolution, thanks to the dedication and influence of men like William and James Wadsworth. The valley became known for its production of wheat, hemp, cattle, sheep, pot ash, pearl ash, and lumber. Transporting these products from the valley became a problem that was resolved when citizens petitioned the State Legislature in 1836 to build a canal between the Erie Canal at Rochester and the Allegheny River at Olean.
The Genesee Valley Canal was completed and opened as far as Mount Morris by September, 1840. It passed through the present parking lot of this restaurant and was crossed by the stagecoach route between Bath and Batavia. At the intersection of these major commercial routes, D. Thompson established an inn, which opened for business in 1840.
Early in the twentieth century, J.D. McGuire purchased this property and named it “The Hotel Genesee”. It passed through other owners, from Olsen to Twitchell, and was known for years as “The Colonial Inn”. In the 1970’s and early 80’s it was ran as a restaurant called “The Yard of Ale”.
The inn was abandoned for several years, and in January of 1987, it was bought from Livingston County by a group of local investors. Although the building clearly reflected its years of use and neglect, a sympathetic restoration was completed by the fall of 1988. Current owner Brian Simmons started as a cook for previous owners, Jim and Molly Bongiovanni, in 1999 and became owner in 2007. He has brought reliable quality and creativity to the cuisine. He and the staff hope to leave guests with a pleasing and memorable experience.