Day Date: Shirt Factory Cafe

ICYMI, Beau and I hail from Niagara County. Yep. I grew up in Newfane and Beau in Lockport. Perhaps my roots a little more country than him and nonetheless, small-town life is what we know. So when there is a place ‘up north’ that is a must-see…we go!

How much for that baby in the window?

Shirt Factory Cafe is the latest place to be transformed and back on the map in Orleans County. New owners Scott and Alix (you may know them as @DCMinute) have taken over the former Robert H. Newell & Co. building and started its new evolution in to being a staple in Medina, NY. They invited us out to nosh on their soon-to-be revealed Toast Bar and we couldn’t pass it up!

The old Shirt Factory here was quite famous among celebrities around the globe

Medina is also going through a resurgence, like Buffalo just on a small town scale. Neighbors of the Shirt Factory Cafe include Mile 303, Zambistro, the vintage shop Ellen J Goods, and Mariachi de Oro. The Erie Canal flows through Medina and was once a popular stopover for trading. Now you can rent a hydrobike or kayak right in town at Pedal and Paddle Medina!

Scott and Alix’s introduction of a Toast Bar is so fun! They’re tweaking the toast now and we got a sneak peek invite to eat ALL OF IT.

Oh em gee.

I had to get a few bites in here and there before Beau ate them all. The cool thing about the ingredients is that Scott and Alix grow the beets and tomatoes in the garden at their beautiful farmhouse. They also source as many items as possible at local businesses like The Bread Basket in town for the toast.

Chloe approved!

The flight is really great for sharing and just one toast is enough to fill you up. Perfect for a to-go breakfast or lunch!

Their current menu boasts sandwiches, salads, coffee, and smoothies. Breakfast for those locals who need to pop in early and veggie options for those non-carnivorous eaters. We also shared an Avocado and White Bean wrap as well as a Bob Hope (turkey). I could eat the AWB ever day!

Scott and Alix are keeping a few old school Shirt Factory nostalgic items like photos and letters from early and mid 20th century shirt requests which is why we felt so proud to be inside their space. Keeping history with revitalized buildings is so important and they GET IT.

Medina is showing us glimmers of a new destination spot. With wineries nearby, water sports on the canal, and people like Scott and Alix (Medina boomerangs) determined to help shed its old skin there is no doubt you will be checking it out, too. Plans for the Shirt Factory Cafe are coming to fruition with ideas of an upgraded menu, Toast Bar, and eventually cocktails. In the same building, Hart Hotel is open and a boutique style place to stay. Medina is quickly becoming a great day trip or even staycation. Keep your eyes peeled on this one, guys. There’s a new town in…well…town. 😉

Waking Up in Lewiston: A Day Date

Part Two of our spontaneous getaway in Lewiston. Waking up and finding breakfast is always key when on vacation, spending a day off together, or re-exploring a local town.

But first, coffee.

 

orange cat coffee, lewiston
 

Our favorite coffee spot in Lewiston is Orange Cat Coffee, located on Center Street. Local, quaint, and the best Red Eye we have had in Niagara County. The beauty of Lewiston is you can walk from the river all the way to the end of the village without feeling exhausted. You can stroll from the Barton Hill Hotel to Orange Cat for a caffeine surge and walk the town, sit outside on their patio, or cozy up in their back room.

 

breakfast at mangia cafe, lewiston
 
We stopped by Mangia Cafe & Bakery, next to Orange Cat, for breakfast. It feels like a historic home with a diner-like feel and is a great stop to get together with your lovebird, family, or friends. Diving in, we ordered banana-walnut and strawberry pancakes, crisp bacon, and eggs. The place slowly packed in and with the sun shining in, we felt like we were on vacation in a peaceful New England town.

 

sgt. peppers, lewiston
 
Love hot sauce? Our favorite place to grab unique sauce is at Sgt. Pepper’s. As a small joint, Sgt. Pepper never fails us- and who doesn’t love naughty labels? The price tag also shows you heat level 1-10, so watch out! A family-run business that keeps it kickin’.

 

castellani art museum, lewiston
 
Since we were in Lewiston in its off-season, we made a quick little stop at the Castellani Art Museum at Niagara University. Open on Sundays from 1-5pm, Castellani boasts contemporary and folk art exhibits that is perfect for going solo or bringing the kids.

 

nemo
 
Not ready to go home, we ventured in to Niagara Falls to revisit the Aquarium of Niagara– somewhere we had no been since we were in elementary school. Don’t worry, we found Nemo.

Stopping by Niagara Falls State Park, we walked around Three Sisters Island and observed some changes happening near the falls that should be improving the area in the next couple of years. We truly hope the area will grow.

Not-so-far-away destinations can be the perfect weekend getaway. On a budget? Last minute? Take another look in your backyard to see what you can rediscover together.

 

niagara falls state park, ny
  
inside mangia
  
jaguar at the bistro, youngstown