Trumansburg Connection: Acclaimed local restaurant celebrates 40 years

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Nestled just inside the Town of Ulysses border on Rt. 89 is probably one of the most loved and iconic restaurants in the Trumansburg area. The Glenwood Pines, or, “The Pines” as any true T-burgian would call it, has a rich and varied history, including constant growth through the several owners it has had since opening. One thing that has remained constant is that it has become a beloved family gathering place, with great food and unmatched service.


The Pines was originally opened by Dorothy and Jack Evans following the end of World War II. What began as a business selling farm produce and homemade ice cream, it quickly grew to add a lunch menu. Between 1951 and 1962 new owners enlarged the building, allowing for the sale of alcoholic beverages. 1962 brought more new owners, Elmer and Lou Morgan, and the Pines became what it is today; a full-service restaurant with a full menu and a Friday night fish fry. The Pinesburger would come later when it was invented by owners Lee Denman and Dave Pepin, who bought the business in 1974, they also added live music on the weekends.


In 1979, the Pines was taken over by the Hohwald family; Gil, and his son’s Bill and Ken, and daughter Deb. The Pines is still run by the Hohwald family, giving it the longest run under the same ownership. Gil passed away in 2017, and Bill retired in 2001 with Deb following in 2007. The Pines is still run by Ken, with the addition of Bill’s son Corey, who estimates that “probably 20 plus relatives have worked here over the years.”


In speaking to the longevity of the Hohwald’s ownership and the short stints previous owners had, Corey said, “As far as previous ownership I guess I can’t speak on why they chose to get out of the business. I don’t believe any of them failed but just moved on. The fact that we created more of a food-first family restaurant opposed to maybe more of a ‘bar’ could be partially responsible for the success and longevity. I think the fact that we have had a ‘whole family’ involved has been a key to the longevity as well. The ability to spread out responsibility and stresses over a number of people makes for a more enjoyable experience. [The restaurant] has meant a lot to our family and continues to be a sort of home base for all of us.” He added, “I love the family atmosphere here not only between employees but regular customers as well. We have employees that have been with us over 20 years! I also love the daily interaction with salespeople, delivery men, employees, and customers.” One would also think the simplicity of the menu also has something to do with it. It’s not extensive or fussy. From burgers and sandwiches to full dinners, it’s just tasty homemade food that people want to eat.


And the customers love their Pines experiences. When asked via Facebook, customers responded enthusiastically. “Incredible Staff, great prices and the BEST Burger!!” and “On a quiet day you can sit at the bar, count the bobbleheads, and watch the kids play whatever it is they play nowadays. I’d give anything for a Pines burger right now, with a side of corn fritters. Or a fried haddock sandwich. They make the best!” are just a couple of examples. Another was, “I love that they support our school groups by hosting fundraisers!”


And that they do. A quick scroll of their Facebook feed shows numerous fundraisers, which benefit the community. Hohwald notes, “We’ve always tried to be involved with local causes, sports teams, and school groups. Recently we have been involved in fundraisers for numerous Trumansburg school groups including Robotics and After Prom. We also have done similar fundraiser for numerous hockey and lacrosse teams. It’s been great because the fundraisers are a great way to get people in the building that may not otherwise come here, so it has been beneficial not only to the groups we try to support but also for us.” The next fundraiser is Wednesday, Jan. 30, to benefit the Trumansburg After Prom Party, so get on out to the Pines on Rt. 89 to support a great cause!


If you are looking for a casual and family-friendly dining experience with great food and exceptional service, The Pines is the place to go. Just a few minutes up Rt. 89 from Ithaca, you can enjoy almost daily lunch specials, their famous Pinesburger or fish fry, and full dinners daily. The Glenwood Pines is also available to rent for private events, up to 50 people. You can order off the menu or they will put a menu together for you. See their menu and learn more about holding an event on their website, glenwoodpines.com. In addition, there will be an anniversary celebration on Feb. 16 beginning at noon.

Briefs

State of the Village
Mayor Rordan Hart and the Village of Trumansburg Board of Trustees presented the State of the Village on Saturday, Jan. 26, 2019 at the Trumansburg Fire Hall. Agenda items included a 2018 year-in-review and 2019 initiatives. Topics included emergency response statistics and needs; police fire, and EMS changes; sidewalks, street lights, and facilities; footbridge repair; and the new street tree committee. The meeting concluded with a town hall style Q&A and was attended by approximately 40 people, and a YouTube video of the meeting can be found on the Village website, trumansburg-ny.gov. The Democratic Caucus was held at the fire hall on Sunday. Trustee Keith Hannon is running to keep his seat and finish out the term, which he inherited from Hart. Hannon won the nomination with a unanimous vote.


Interim principal
From the Trumansburg Central School: Trumansburg Central School District is delighted to welcome Mr. Jeremy Moore as the Interim Elementary School Principal beginning Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019. Mr. Moore will be covering Ms. Jeanie Wiggins’ extended medical leave during the Spring 2019 semester. Mr. Moore is an experienced and dedicated educator of 22 years. He has served in the capacity of administrator, science teacher, coach, and mentor. As a school building leader, he strives to provide inspiration, insight, tools and the support necessary to help others realize their potential and to have an impact on those around them. We strongly believe Mr. Moore will be a great asset in our school community as he is committed to continuing to realize the mission and vision of our district.

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