Bailiwick Market & Cafe

One-Stop Local Shop

By Lorna Oppedisano | Photography by Steven J. Pallone 

Bailiwick Market & Cafe — the expansive, high-ceilinged barn boasting everything from Café Kubal coffee to locally-sourced meals to locally-crafted goods and artisan works — started out as a simple dream of an ice cream shop.

Nancy Hourigan — Bailiwick owner and Hourigan Dairy Farm co-owner — explained with a chuckle that when her husband suggested she clean up the space at 441 Route 5 in Elbridge, she might have gone a little further than originally planned.

The ice cream dream evolved into a plan to sell ice cream, cheese and yogurt, when Nancy realized she had a good friend who could benefit from that opportunity. Then her friend mentioned a connection to local artists. Another friend liked to cook. Another was crazy about coffee.

“We dreamed up the building,” Nancy said. “We dreamed up how we wanted it to look inside.”

The group scouted other buildings for ideas about structure, and decided on a big, inviting red barn. They investigated local roasters, and landed on Café Kubal as the best beans. They attended an ice cream show in Marcellus, and discovered Bassetts Ice Cream, the oldest ice cream maker in the country.

Together with a female architect, they designed the space, using old horse barns to construct doors, counters and tables. They collected old chairs and other furniture pieces for the displays. The dining area is rounded off with an old pew discarded from a Syracuse church.

Nancy’s team had “good eyes” for designing and arranging the space, she said proudly, explaining their method of mixing old with new.

“We just kept dreaming and putting [everything] together, so it really was a progress-in-motion as we thought about things and put them together,” Nancy said.

Bailiwick opened last May, boasting more than 30 artisans’ work, and an impressive menu of breakfast, lunch and dinner items, including sandwiches, salads, soups and entrees. The kitchen sources food as locally as possible, partnering with more than 25 local farmers and producers. Bailiwick has recently added local beer and wine to its offerings, as well.

The public’s response since opening has been exciting, Nancy said, adding that customers have remarked the restaurant feels like home to them. Along with visits from out-of-towners on the weekends, Bailiwick has already developed a cast of regulars.

The staff even celebrated an 80th birthday party with one of its repeat customers, Nancy said with a smile.

The team tries to have live music in the space once a week and has hosted a slew of events, including a class reunion, wedding rehearsal, snow mobile club and anniversary party.

“We’ve become a destination, which is wonderful,” Nancy said.

Looking forward to the future, Nancy hopes to add picnic tables for guests to enjoy outdoor dining and the surrounding countryside, as well as more walking trails on the property.

Bailiwick is always on the hunt for more artisans’ works, as well, and is open to hosting more events.

“We just continue to evolve,” Nancy said. “We rarely say no to anything.” SWM

Bailiwick Market & Cafe is located at 441 Route 5 in Elbridge. Market and cafe hours are 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. For menus, event listings and more, visit bailiwickmarket.com.

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