Is There Something In the Water?

So, what’s going on in Phelps? At a time when all you read about is how bad this is and how bad that is, something different is happening in Phelps. The community has always been comprised of hard-working, independent people. These folks don’t seem deterred by current economic conditions. In fact, they seem invigorated by the challenge.

Like many small communities in the Finger Lakes, Phelps has a storied past. Beginning in the mid-1800s, it was a thriving community, with many mills springing up along the shores of Flint Creek. It was also a favorite stop on stage coach and railroad lines, providing many services to visitors.

Phelps is returning to its roots and focusing on bringing visitors to its community to experience an old-fashioned, simpler time. In these crazy times, this community is trying to provide a place where people can slow down, relax and appreciate where we have been and where we are in life.

In the past two years, several new businesses and organizations have opened their doors and arms to visitors.

Flint Creek Family Brew Pub has a unique menu of foods to enjoy, along with specialty wines and beers, served in a charming, family atmosphere. Stop in on a Saturday night and you’re bound to see a packed house enjoying some local musical talent.

The Historic Phelps Hotel Restaurant welcomes guests from all over the region for a finer dining experience. Its prime rib is said to be one of the best in the area.

Waterside Spirits and Wine Bar is one-of-a-kind. The cozy Wine Bar is usually filled with people taking in the lodge atmosphere, each other’s company, and savoring one of the many local wines available. With their patio overlooking Flint Creek Falls, this is one spot that you won’t want to miss.

Blue Ribbon Restaurant and Smokehouse also provides a great place for family dining and has been made famous by Rochester TV personality Don Alhart’s love of their cookies. You’ll often hear him on the news telling people if you’re in Phelps to stop by and get some cookies.

Speaking of cookies, Carriage House Bakery recently opened in one of the oldest buildings in town.

The recently-opened Thomas Kinkade Gallery of the Finger Lakes is drawing visitors from as far as Canada and Pennsylvania, looking to purchase that special piece that perfectly complements their home.

Is this energy something new in Phelps? Are they all giddy on the new beverages in town or just foolishly optimistic? You decide. In the past couple of years, the Village government began the restoration of downtown, opened a Community Center and renovated Redfield Commons, a local park. It also recently acquired a piece of property adjacent to Flint Creek for a new park. The Historical Society purchased and renovated the Country Lawyer’s Office, the site of the New York Times bestselling book from the early 1900s, as a museum, and the Phelps Arts Center opened in the former Episcopal Church on Church Street, displaying local art talents.

So, if you think there’s no life in a small town, think again and stop by Phelps to see a living example of what there is to enjoy.

For more information, visit

by Jamie Hillegeer

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *