An Italian-Irish establishment run by Antonina McDermott and her husband for over 35 years, it’s approach to the holiday calendar is truly interactive. The sign in the window is the countdown to New Year’s and inside they have a digital sign with a countdown to St. Patrick’s’s Day (when they change the name of the restaurant to McDermott’s). On the ‘It’s a Wonderful Life” weekend they have a sign calling it “Martini’s”, after the restaurant in the movie that’s near the bridge. On March 17 they only serve corned beef and cabbage, beef stew, ham and cabbage. Otherwise, its Italian/American food with heavy emphasis on Italian.
The corners just in front of the restaurant play a role in the holiday celebrations as well, with theme based decorations near the special days. New Year’s Eve includes a large ball on a pole that drops at midnight and highlights they year in lights. The restaurant’s Italian-Irish background reflects the history of the town as well. Immigrants from these two countries were the primary workers on the original construction of the Erie Canal and were a major component of the community’s development.
It’s located just next to the George Bailey Bridge, opposite the Ludovico Sculpture Trail. Antonina’s takes cash only.