There’s no substitution for that perfect neighborhood bar and grill. In Webster, Hidden Creek Tavern is in the midst of its soft opening at its new location at 1839 Ridge Road.
The restaurant features favorites such as burgers, wraps, salads and wings at affordable prices in the $10 range.
Restaurants will often do soft openings to ramp up service and tweak any issues. Stay tuned for the official grand opening in the next few weeks.
You wouldn’t know it from its humble exterior, but a new small business in Webster is becoming a regional destination for exotic birds.
Exotic Pet Birds at 656 Ridge Road across from the movie theater is the brainchild of Sal Salafia. A Realtor and house flipper by trade, Salafia has been a lifelong lover of birds and decided to share his passion.
“I have had birds my whole life and there are not a lot of options for bird owners to buy exotic birds in upstate New York,” Salafia said.
When his pet bird died, he decided he wanted to buy an African grey parrot. There wasn’t a single grey available in Rochester, Syracuse or Buffalo during the search for his grey parrot and he had to expand his search to New York City, Maryland and Pennsylvania.
Salafia opened Exotic Pet Birds with family in mind.
“We created a family-friendly environment which allows for both adults and children to interact with potential new pets,” Salafia said. “Many of our customers spend several hours at the store in our viewing room which has a charging station for their phones and a TV and leather couch to make their visit simulate an at home experience.”
The store partnered with two veterinarians specializing in avian care with the first vet visit for free and offers DNA testing for each bird to confirm if the client is getting a male or female. It also partnered with Ana’s Parrots, one of the largest breeders in the state of Pennsylvania, helping the new business become a major supplier of domestically raised exotic parrots in the country.
People are traveling all over the region for the white-glove service in search of their family avian pet, Salafia said. Many have stayed overnight at local hotels. Exotic Pet Birds built a strong and loyal customer base forming in a very short time, Salafia said.
Having known Salafia for years, I never knew that he has this esoteric hobby of collecting pet birds as I know him in a professional real estate setting. As I was waxing nostalgic about the passing of Rusty Staub and my trips to Shea Stadium on opening day of Major League Baseball this week, a friend commented he thought my interests were in bargain hunting and home flipping. It just goes to show that you can’t judge a book by its cover.
Of course, Birds Unlimited is also in Webster at 1421 Empire Blvd. Another noteworthy newer pet store to check out is B&L Pets at 3096 Main St. in Caledonia. I visited a few months ago while visiting the retro 50s diner that is Reminisce Soda Fountain in the small picturesque town. B&L sells an array of small pets from birds to fish to hamsters and even reptiles. There’s grooming for all breeds and a small antique store area, all within the pet shop.
There’s a new place to shop for wines and spirits if you live in the Fairport and Perinton areas. Fairport Wine and Liquor just opened at 143 N. Main St., right next to Crystal Nails in a small plaza. The shop offers a full selectionof wine and liquor.
Patrons of China Buffet at 376 Jefferson Road in Henrietta noticed that the restaurant suddenly closed this week. The closure is temporary, according to Yin Hui Sun, a family owner. There’s no word yet on when it will be back up and running. Hibachi Sushi Buffet across the street at South Town closed late last year with owner Shirley Au telling me that food price hikes and labor shortage made it difficult to maintain a low margin buffet business concept. Grand Super Buffet at the plaza with Big Lots and At Home in Henrietta remains open.
Fans of casual and comfortable clothing, the Flax Barn Sale is in Syracuse this year, at ShoppingTown Mall at 3649 Erie Blvd. East. It has moved from its usual Ithaca site.
The dates and hours: April 13, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; April 14, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; and April 15, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
It’s a great way to pick up the soft casual clothes at up to 90 percent off. I’ve found linen jackets for $30 and scarves for $5 to stock up on for those holiday gifts. Dress in stretchy tights as there are no fitting rooms and prepare to box dive for the bargains.
Mary Chao is the retail and real estate reporter at Democrat and Chronicle. Email her at mchao@Gannett.com.