Then and Now: Downtown Canandaigua

Early 1900s

The images above and below reflect nearly 120 years of change on the east side of South Main Street in Canandaigua.

In the 2019 photo, we see the void left by the removal of the original Flannigan’s Restaurant building located at 109 South Main Street. Flannigan’s proprietor, John Flannigan, founded the restaurant in 1886 when he was 20 years old. Flannigan was prominent in Democratic politics and was a close friend and counselor to President Grover Cleveland. The restaurant was well known for its fresh oysters shipped in daily by rail. When Flannigan died in 1926, the business was purchased by John Murphy who ran it until 1939 when it closed its doors. Montgomery Wards then occupied the building until a fire claimed the structure in June of 1963 at which time it was demolished.


The building still standing in the 2019 photo just north of where Flannigan’s Restaurant stood is Simply Crepes Café and Catering. It was founded by The Héroux Family and offers meals created from fresh, local ingredients.

For more local history, visit the Ontario County Historical Society in Canandaigua. Visit for more information.

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