New name, old faces at George's Restaurant | News
Customers were unhappy when the Duchess Restaurant in Penfield closed last year, but now it has returned under new management.
About 60 staff from Duchess have gone back to work at a new location in Panorama Plaza. It is owned by Garry Serosyan and his wife Ovsanna, who used to work as a hostess at Duchess.
They opened the doors to George’s Restaurant, named after their 3-year-old son, George, on March 5.
“We see a lot of familiar faces and previous customers from Duchess,” said Garry. “It’s very friendly staff, and people know them. It’s like a family.”
After two decades of service, the Duchess closed in February 2011 when owner George Naselaris retired. He now lives in Indiana and has no ties to the new restaurant, aside from keeping in touch with his former employees.
The fate of the old restaurant building at 441/250 remains unknown at this time, but the new owners say they are happier with the Panorama location because of its central location, making it a convenient stop for customers in nearby towns like Fairport, Brighton, East Rochester and Pittsford.
As word about the re-opening continues to spread, George’s has gotten a steady stream of business in its first two weeks as old and new customers come. As they walk in, it’s almost like a reunion when Ovsanna greets old patrons at the door.
“This is a community restaurant,” said Ovsanna. “They’re not just coming here for food.”
The owners first came to the United States from Armenia — Garry, 48, in 1996 and Ovsanna, 37, in 2006. Before coming to the U.S., Ovsanna managed a restaurant for nine years before working at Duchess for four. The couple now lives with their son in Macedon.
While the friendly faces at George’s draw much business, you can’t ignore the food. The eatery serves three meals a day and prides itself on using only local products in their dishes on the menu, which has many of the same choices as Duchess with dinner specials every night of the week.
With a fresh new start, it’s a new chapter at a local favorite, as Garry explained.