Longtime Ossining Restaurant Closes, on the Market for $1.5 Million

Sign outside the vacant Briar’s restaurant on North State Road in Ossining, photographed June 29, 2022, by Robert Brum

The Briar’s, an Ossining mainstay for at least six decades, has plated its last meal — for now, at least. 

The cozy inn on North State Road closed its doors earlier this summer and the property is on the market for $1.5 million, its price dropping by $100,000 from its initial listing.  

Although its name and real estate listings suggest the pub’s address is in the Village of Briarcliff Manor, the beige stucco building on the corner of Blue Lantern Road is in the unincorporated section of the Town of Ossining. 

The agent for the property, Gus Lafkas of Douglas Elliman Real Estate, said his uncle who lives in Florida owns the property, but would not comment on why it closed.  

A 2018 lawsuit filed against the owners by the operator of the restaurant, Agora Gourmet Foods run by George Paganis, was settled.  

Over the years a number of restaurants have occupied the small building on the .68-acre parcel. It was apparently known as the Blue Lantern Inn as early as the 1930s. 

A 1963 booklet commemorating the Village of Ossining’s 150th anniversary carried an advertisement for The Briars (no apostrophe) and listed the proprietors as Joseph and Paula Federer.

Page from a publication highlighting the Village of Ossining’s 150th anniversary in 1963 contains an advertisement for The Briars and other area businesses of the time. Image courtesy of the Ossining Historical Society Museum
Publication highlighting the Village of Ossining’s 150th anniversary in 1963. Image courtesy of the Ossining Historical Society Museum

North State Road was known as Saw Mill River Road at that time, and the restaurant’s phone number was Wilson 1-9870. 

“Many residents including myself have fond memories of The Briars,” Patricia Sacchi of the Ossining Historical Society Museum, who worked at the restaurant in the early 1990s, wrote in an email. “Years ago as a young wife and mom I worked there as a hostess and waitress. … I hated that smoking was allowed in the dining room, only two tables but came home smelling none too fresh.” Her son’s wedding rehearsal dinner was held in the restaurant’s back room in 2019. 

The first-floor dining area has two separate rooms and a bar. The building also includes two basement rooms for storage and preparation, and five rooms on the second floor plus an attic, according to its real estate listing.  

The property is located in a commercial zone along a busy stretch of North State Road. It has an assessed value of $831,800 — $419,200 for the land and $412,600 for the building, according to town records.  

Word of the closing on Facebook elicited memories of favorite dishes, the front room’s cozy fireplace, and special occasions in the restaurant’s party room. 

Coleslaw using a recipe from past owners the O’Hagan family remained popular through the years, as did “an old school relish tray” and hamburger platter. 


  1. It is always sad when an established business closes. I was equally sad to hear of the closing of Good Choice Kitchen on Main Street in Ossining.

  2. Just last year I was fortunate to celebrate my mother’s 60th Birthday with all my siblings, her siblings, and their families in the Briar’s. The Briar’s will be greatly missed.

  3. My grandfather Joseph had died way before I was born. My grandmother Paula lived just down the road from The Briars her entire life after he passed and she sold it. She always told us many wonderful stories about the times they had when owning it. We only ate there once, all of us in the late 80’s. They were immigrants from Switzerland and Austria, worked their way up as a Chef / Manager duo for years in NYC, resorts in the Catskills and, saved enough money to buy that restaurant, and lived in the apartment above with my dad. They were a true American success story and a source of inspiration, and work ethic for myself as well. God Bless you Both!!!

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About the Author: Robert Brum