Club 86

Weddings, Events & Caterings

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The first generation of the Legott family arrived in Geneva from Pennsylvania in the late 1900’s to help build the Lehigh Valley Station for the railroad. They soon purchased a piece of real estate and opened Legott’s Bar & Restaurant. The restaurant helped them to support their family of ten children.

When their son, Jim, returned from serving in WWII, he decided to add on to the family restaurant. Jim, with the help of architect George White, designed and built a huge addition on the side of the building. The room was an amazing feat of architecture for that time, supported only in the four corners with a blown-in acoustical ceiling, special gas lighting in the recesses, and plenty of plush night club seating for a crowd of over 400. When it was completed Jim changed the name to the Club 86, and he opened the nightclub with acts that made the club famous.It became, quite possibly, the hottest spot in the country for Jazz during the 1940’s featuring greats like Ella Fitzgerald, Louie Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie, Nat King Cole, Lionel Hampton, Buddy Rich, and Tony Bennett. They performed to a full house seven nights a week. Along with big name entertainment, Jim and his wife Eileen gave their guests food that was simply the best they'd ever had. Club 86 became "THE" place to enjoy entertainment and a fabulous meal, serving fine Italian cuisine. From 1946 until the early 50's the Club 86 was a thriving nightclub but when the war ended the Navy and Air Force bases in the area downsized and much of the clientele was lost. Television was also becoming more accessible at that time and people were being entertained in their homes rather than going out. The nightclub era was drawing to a close. 

From the mid 1950’s-60’s Jim struggled to keep the Club alive, booking entertainment when possible. One of the last acts to play was Wilmer Alexander & The Dukes. In the 1960’s he decided he needed to change the focus of the Club from a nightclub to a party house if he wanted the business to survive. They put their attention on the food that they had become famous for. For the next several years people would come to the back door of the Club to buy their homemade sauce and Italian specialties. Catering became a big part of their business. Eileen used to bake cakes which were given as an “extra” to those placing a catering order. The cakes, a specialty with fresh strawberry and cream layers, were soon in high demand and remain an extremely popular menu item today. 

Jim and Eileen ran the Club through the 1990’s, doing most of the work themselves and enlisting family to wait tables and bartend. Their reputation had earned them a business that was both steady and loyal. Jim worked at the Club almost everyday until he passed away in 1999. Today, a third generation of the Legott family runs Club 86. 

Jim and Eileen’s son, Bill, and his wife Lori have taken the reins. Lori has expanded the cake baking portion of the business, creating not only beautiful wedding cakes, but cakes for all occasions. Although Club 86 has remodeled a bit since its heyday, autographed pictures of the stars that performed there, hang on the walls. Today, the Club is a private party house that is available for weddings, banquets and just about any get together up to 400 people.

If you appreciate fine hospitality and traditional standards, you will enjoy Club 86 and the Legott's newest business ~ Torrey Park Grill, 89 Avenue E. Both places bend over backward to assure their customers are catered to in fine style. It's a wonderful life when you can see how the beauty of the past brings grace.

 

CLUB 86
86 Avenue E. | Geneva, NY 14456
(315) 789.4955