CEO of Mohawk Valley Garden (MVG) Robert Esche announced today that the company has finalized the purchase of Babe’s Macaroni Grill & Bar on Genesee St. in Utica. On January 9, MVG acquired the property and took over operational control of the restaurant. As part of a modernizing rebrand that includes a new logo, Babe’s will now be known as Babe’s at Harbor Point, paying homage to the ongoing revitalization project happening right across the street.
Mohawk Valley Garden will look to the leadership of Jeff Stone, President of ORB Food & Beverage, LLC, to manage the operations of Babe’s, a role he is familiar with. Stone previously managed Babe’s from 1997 until 2015, when he left to work full-time at the Adirondack Bank Center. Stone leads the operations for 72 Tavern & Grill, as well as the concession and catering services for the Comets, Utica City FC, and all concerts and special events at the Adirondack Bank Center.
“While I have not been at Babe’s for over four years, I look forward to returning to a place that has both a rich history of good food as well as an infinite amount of potential,” explained Stone. “Our goal is to restore the great things about Babe’s from the start of the 21st century while also adding and modernizing the facility.”
Babe’s at Harbor Point will remain open while Mohawk Valley Garden reorganizes operations, rehabs the facility, and rebrands the restaurant. MVG will renovate both the inside and outside of the restaurant in phases over the next 12-15 months. Patrons can also expect to see minor changes to the menu in the coming weeks.
“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,” said Esche. “We will build the Babe’s name back up to be synonymous with quality food, affordability, cleanliness, and a fun atmosphere. We also want our City of Utica and entirety of the Mohawk Valley to be proud when everything is complete.”
The acquisition of Babe’s at Harbor Point becomes the second restaurant under the ownership of Mohawk Valley Garden, and the third owned by Esche (he has owned Aqua Vino since 2007). MVG also operates the Utica Comets, Utica City FC, ORB Food & Beverage, and Garden Entertainment.
Babe’s at Harbor Point is located at 80 N Genesee St. in North Utica and is open Tuesday-Sunday for lunch and dinner.