By Joyce M. Miles email@example.com
Niagara Gazette — LOCKPORT — The Flight of Five Winery at Old City Hall is opening today.
Samples of its first five wines, titled Locks 67 through 71, will be served daily in flights of five and individually. Hours of operation are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. on Sundays.
The winery occupies the top floor of Old City Hall, 2 Pine St., and is the first winery to be operated in the city.
With its opening, two other hospitality businesses on the building’s first floor, including Sweet Melody’s, are going to “full time” operation with the same daily hours.
Old City Hall is one of two new locations for Sweet Melody’s since the East Amherst original was closed. Proprietor Chuck Incorvia produces a variety of flavors of gelato and fresh fruit sorbets. Gelato contains half the fat of regular ice cream, and sorbet has no fat or dairy content, he says.
Building owner Scott Geise has turned a section of Old City Hall into a welcome center for visitors to the city’s Locks District. Cold drinks, hot pizza from Molinaro’s and locally grown fresh popcorn are available for purchase. Geise is acquiring old Lock City photos and other historic materials for display and is making space available for local artists to show their work as well.
Sweet Melody’s and the welcome center opened informally last month, without fixed hours of operation, while awaiting the winery opening, according to Geise.
Plans are in the works for a mid-August grand-opening-style celebration by and for businesses at the Pine-Canal-Gooding streets intersection that have opened since spring: Lockport Cave Tours, Old City Hall/the Flight of Five Winery and Lake Effect Ice Cream.
The Flight of Five Winery is undergoing a “soft” opening today after owner-operator Jackie Connelly finally received a license from the state Liquor Authority on July 26. At the outset, only samples of Flight of Five wines will be served; sales by the glass await receipt of a separate permit from the state, she said.
With its hosting of the winery, Geise has undertaken an ambitious effort to resuscitate Old City Hall, in part by recovering its gracious features. Hovering over the Erie Canal at Pine Street, the stone structure was built in 1859 as a flour and grist mill, and was purchased by the City of Lockport in 1893 to house municipal offices.