Our Story

A passion for fine food - and each other - helps this couple to achieve the American dream

Bob and Sandy Layman have long shared a passion for great food, friends and fun and were accustomed to working long hours in the restaurant industry. An opportunity to purchase The Cellar came in late 2003.The couple found the chance too enticing to let slip by and believed their respective skills and talents combined would form a recipe for success.

Being located only feet from the Susquehanna River in a basement level business had its challenges. After flooding in 2004, 05 and 06, the Laymans decided to take the Cellar’s good name and move it up. They purchased the historic building and street-level renovations began. Nature’s way and the river had redefined their restaurant and their lives.

Sandy remains a part-time server while overseeing the marketing & advertising of the restaurant  and she spends time keeping the interior design fresh and exciting. Dining guests have referred to the ambience of the new upstairs location as rustically sophisticated and always comfortable.

Bob, meanwhile, experiments and perfects the culinary skills he has developed over 40 years in the food and beverage industry. Self-taught, the ability to produce quality food that “dances in your mouth” is his gift. In early 2000 Bob had the opportunity to learn from a regular customer with Celiac disease how to cook gluten-free. Over ten years later, cooking without gluten is common practice in Bob's cooking style and is evident in the wide variety of gluten free menu items he effortlessly prepares at The Cellar Restaurant. With dedication and determination, the Laymans and their three sons have turned a local favorite into a regional destination.

A Passion For Fine Food ...see video

The Cellar Restaurant 196 Front Street Owego, NY 13827 607.687.2016 thecellarrestaurant.net