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Wilson House: A gathering spot, reborn

A scenic drive up New York State Route 425 will lead you to a charming crossroads of new and very old: the Wilson House at Lake and Main Street in the Village of Wilson.

The restaurant and inn, which boasts a rich history, opened its doors again in the spring after an extensive renovation. For new owners Jon Pashong and Chris and Tim White, the goal was to bring the building’s past into the present.

The property was originally a private home for Luther Wilson, the eldest son of Reuben Wilson (the town’s founding father) in 1844. Beginning in 1914, the building housed a gentleman’s club complete with a bowling alley in the basement and a dancehall on the second floor. After WWII, the space began being used as a restaurant.

When Pashong and the Whites bought it in 2016, they began uncovering the House’s storied past.

Wilson House | A gathering spot, reborn | Buffalo Magazine

“As we started taking down walls, we found original cobblestone: The same cobblestone that once served as the exterior of the house, but was covered during expansions,” said Pashong.

Cobblestone architecture was popular in antebellum western New York State, with stones often coming from the shores of Lake Ontario.

Diners can see these original cobblestones prominently featured in an archway between the bar and one of the two dining rooms. They can also admire the original floors and lintels, and the impressive bar top.

“The bar is made out of one huge tree from the Niagara escarpment. When it died, it was donated to us and we used every last piece of it,” Pashong explained. “It was another way to embrace history.”

Wilson House | A gathering spot, reborn | Buffalo Magazine

The dining room features beautiful historic mouldings, millwork and fixtures.

The inn upstairs offers seven rooms with king, queen and twin bed options. There’s also a conference room available for private events.

“This is a community establishment through and through. From happy hours and family dinners to fishermen spending a weekend at the Inn, we want it to be a warm and friendly place for people to gather — just like it was built to do,” said Pashong.

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