Food in the Finger Lakes: The Auburn Pub

The Auburn Pub is a quaint, quiet, and nondescript bar located in the City of Auburn. While there are plenty of bars and restaurants in Auburn that blow customers away with flashy marketing, bright signs, or bloated and thoughtless menus — this place delivers quietly, and thoroughly, making a great name for itself in less than two months of operation.The Auburn Pub is situated in the former Moose Lodge, which had also housed a couple bars over the years. The bar and restaurant, which more closely resemble the houses that surround it is a testament to something lost in today’s culture. Owners Marc and Raymond never thought they would be opening a bar and restaurant in Auburn. While Marc said that it was a lifelong dream of his, to run a bar or restaurant — it just never materialized. The original plan for the pair of owners was to open a neighborhood convenience store. Unfortunately, the zoning of the property would not allow that to happen. What the property would allow for though — as luck would have it — was a bar, and/or restaurant. Both agreed that opening just a bar wasn’t something either of them were interested in, unless they could incorporate food into the mix. When customers walk in they are greeted by an atmosphere that delivers far beyond expectation. The floor stands out — it’s a collection of pennies — which was a portion of the construction and renovation that took more than a year. Design elements like this — show just how much the owners cared about making The Auburn Pub something truly original that the neighborhood and community could get behind.The layout is simple, concise, and easy on the customer. Marc and Roger have big plans for the site, though. Currently, they are in the process of transitioning to outright owners of the property, which will allow them to begin expanding their operation beyond the current limitations.Some of the things Marc and Roger plan on making a reality in the coming months include:— Deck seating, which will include an awning to protect customers from the elements, and give The Auburn Pub greater seating during the spring, summer, and fall months.— The exploration of bocce and volleyball courts, which could include other elements as well. Owners Marc and Roger are looking at ways to get the community involved in leagues, tournaments, and other events that the whole family can enjoy.— Currently, The Auburn Pub is open from 4 pm to close Tuesday through Sunday. Both owners pointed out that they would like to expand that operating time as well in the coming months — in addition to expanding their offerings, with barbecue and breakfast.— Takeout and greater delivery options are also two areas where owners Marc and Roger are looking to explore in the coming months.When it comes to food Marc spoke to the process of obtaining a liquor license as being a turning point for the duo. There is an expectation when obtaining a liquor license that as a business you will provide certain things, he explained. One of those things is food. The typical bar food — wasn’t something either of the two were interested in doing. Jegenia Johnson, Head Cook and Chef at The Auburn Pub took what Marc and Roger were looking for — and delivered. Their secret can only be described as taking traditional bar fare, and putting an upscale, “down home,” twist on them that is both completely unique and 100% gratifying at every turn.One thing you won’t find on the menu is mozzarella sticks. The owners explained that shortly after opening, the mozzarella sticks were the first thing to come off the menu. In their wake came one of the most-intriguing items we have ever seen doing the Food in the Finger Lakes feature. Something that could only be described as a bite-sized, deep fried, cheese curd, which could easily be turned into an entire meal — is a menu favorite since it’s arrival. An equally unique buffalo sauce, which combines sweet, tangy, and spicy in all of the right ways, accompanies these bite-sized delights.Another item on the menu, which stands out from the crowd is a spin on fried shrimp that delivers on every front. The jumbo shrimp are brought to the table with a sweet-and-sour sauce that every customer who goes to The Auburn Pub should try — at least once. Perhaps the most-compelling item on the menu is right out of Bar Food 101. A variety of wings that have already given them an incredibly reputation in Auburn. Some of the most-popular flavors include lemon pepper, parmesan garlic, traditional barbecue, and hot buffalo, which all delivered high-marks by our own review. Marc told FingerLakes1.com that not featuring an overly lengthy menu was important to him. He said that doing a dozen items right was far more important than doing several dozen items just O-K.For those looking to find burgers, sandwiches, and other items — The Auburn Pub has all of these options available, too. Those looking for sweets will also be happy to know that they feature homemade desserts, as well.It takes a team effort to do well in the restaurant or bar industry. The Auburn Pub has the right people — working in the right places. Owners Marc and Roger deeply care about the business, the people they employ, as well as the neighborhood they serve. For them, it’s as personal as it is a great opportunity.Charles Martin, Manager of The Auburn Pub, has spent over 25 years in the business, and is as passionate about the business and community as Marc or Roger. With Charles’ experience and knowhow, the bar and restaurant are poised to be massively successful in a market that has begged for something like this to come along for years.If the kitchen at The Auburn Pub continues turning out the type of food it is producing today — Jegenia will become one of the most-prolific chefs in the entire Finger Lakes. She brings a passion and love for food, which is reflected in the product that comes from the kitchen she runs so smoothly. Patrons may have to remind themselves that they are eating at a bar — and not a restaurant where the average plate costs more than $30. For the City of Auburn this bar and restaurant is the embodiment of what every establishment should aim to achieve. While they have had their share of ups-and-downs throughout the process — there is an appreciation for it all. More importantly, The Auburn Pub is a wonderful reflection of what hard work in the Finger Lakes can accomplish. There is tremendous competition between these lakes in the bar and restaurant business, but that is what makes a place like this possible. The Auburn Pub is a gem hidden in the residential neighborhoods of Auburn, which has unlimited potential to become a staple in the Finger Lakes food scene.Check out our interview with owner Marc Turenne in the video below, as he talked about the process of opening a bar and restaurant — as well as some of the things customers can expect in the coming months.Food in the Finger Lakes is a multi-media feature by Josh Durso, of FingerLakes1.com. Let us know what restaurants you would like to see featured on Food in the Finger Lakes by emailing [email protected].

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