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Community Restaurant Added to NYS Historic Business Preservation Registry

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Lookback through the year’s at the Community Restaurant.
X101 Photo.

The Community Restaurant at 10 Main Street in the City of Cortland and a staple in the Cortland Community for over 90 years, was added to New York State Historic Business Preservation Registry yesterday during a ceremony at the restaurant yesterday afternoon.


For a business to be considered to be added to the registry, that business must have been in operation for at least 50 years and have contributed to their community’s history.

Assemblymember Anna Kelles presented the recognition to owner Evan Souzas. Kelles then spoke about the importance of what this type of establishment has been for the Cortland Community over years. She noted the morning service for patrons stopping by for a cup of coffee, lunch and dinner offerings, hosting special events, and getting together with friends and family.

“It means a lot to me and my family. All these years being recognized. I remember [the] 70th anniversary, 80th and you never thought, when is this gonna end.” Evan Souzas said during the recognition ceremony. “You know you keep going and going and we’re [Community Restaurant] almost at 100 years. I gotta thank all of our staff, present and past, the Cortland Community [who] have been great to us.”

In 1963, Tony Souzas purchased what we now know as the Community Restaurant. Tony’s nephew, Evan, has been the current owner of the Community Restaurant since taking over back in 2000 after years working with his uncle and father, Bill. The restaurant was founded by Arthur Gyftakis as the Community Coffee Shop in 1930.

Cortland Mayor Scott Steve noted the investment Souzas has made not only into the historic building where the Community Restaurant sits, but other buildings along historic Main Street in Downtown Cortland.

The Community Restaurant is now the second business added to the State Historic Business Preservation Registry in the 125th Assembly District. The Cortland Standard was added earlier this year.

More information on the New York Historic Business Preservation Registry can be found HERE.

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