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.
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.