VESTAL, NY (WIVT/WBGH) – The owners of the Funky Beez hot dog and ice cream stand in Vestal are explaining why the old castle building on the property will have to be torn down.
Bill Stewart and Felicia Davis are planning an affordable and relaxed outdoor atmosphere for their new eatery.
The name Funky Beez comes from the fact that they’re beekeepers and they think bees are funky.
They plan to serve Berks all-beef hot dogs with a choice of 30 different toppings.
Plus 34 flavors of Hershey hard ice cream and 35 varieties of soft serve.
And large freak shakes, loaded with toppings, and cotton candy art.
But Adams says the main draw will be the outdoor seating areas.
Out front will be a nice patio with table and chairs, festooned with lights.
And out back will be a large children’s play area with picnic tables, a playset, fenced in dog area, sculptures and murals.
Davis says she wants to be a destination for families.
Operations Manager Felicia Davis says, “Times are very expensive right now. So we do want to offer families the ability to come, enjoy the outdoor space, let your children run, let your ball team get together and be able to do it for $5 or $6 per person.”
Stewart says the couple initially bought the property, without an inspection, at an estate sale with the intention of continuing to operate it as rental property.
But soon after, they discovered that the foundation on the castle building is crumbling and the floor beams rotting.
The turret, which was installed in the 80’s, is actually made of wood, which is also rotting, with a fake stone facade.
Town officials have condemned the apartment building, the tenants had to vacate and the structure has since been vandalized.
Stewart says people have been posting nasty messages and insults about their plan to tear it down.
Owner Bill Stewart says, “I wanted to save the house. I didn’t want to rip the house down, that wasn’t my intention to buy it. I feel bad because you want to make something great here, you want to do something for the town. But you have so many people who are upset that you’re tearing the house down. I don’t know what to do, it’s literally not salvageable. The house is completely rotten.”
Stewart has video on the Funky Beez Facebook page that shows the rotting floor beams collapsing into the basement.
The couple says their goal is to open sometime between May 15th and June 15th.
Down the road, they hope to be able to host events like live music and car shows at the venue.