Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Hometown Chef Taking Reins at Tioga Downs New Restaurant

Casino expansion adding flavor with local BBQ talent 

Nichols, N.Y. - July 11, 2016 - Live music and world class barbeque is a winning combination and it's coming soon to the Southern Tier. With Virgil's Real BBQ slated to open at Tioga Downs in August, they have the deck stacked in their favor with Executive Chef, Nicholas Donahue. A native of Conklin, New York, Chef Nick has the training and skills that would make any barbecue pit master proud. Trained under Virgil's executive chefs in NYC for the past month, Chef Nick is bringing the southern comfort of good BBQ to the North.

Born in Conklin and a graduate from Susquehanna Valley, Nicholas Donahue has felt the kitchen's ability to bring people together since a young age. Cooking class in high school made him realize he could have a career doing what he loves, and his upbringing reinforced his passion for good, home cooked food. "I cannot remember a time when we didn't have a BBQ smoker growing up. This is one thing my father always had and we used it every weekend," said Donahue.

Along with Chef Nick's expertise in the kitchen, he brings a level of authenticity and heart that is rarely found in today's restaurants. Caring about the customer means caring about the food and at Virgil's Real BBQ, everything is homemade. Detailing his experiences at Virgil's in his blog, Chef Nick shows the care that's put into the food right down to the warm, flaky biscuits and baked beans. To follow along as Nick heads up Virgil's at Tioga Downs, you can visit his blog at www.tiogadowns.com/dining/virgils/chefnick.

"We go above and beyond to not just meet customer expectations, we work to exceed them," Donahue said about the Virgil's Real BBQ staff. "We take the time to get to know every employee individually and forge positive relationships, so in turn, our employees can take that upbeat, positive attitude and make sure it reaches our customers."

Virgil's Real BBQ has its roots in New York City, created by restaurant entrepreneur Artie Cutler. Sampling the best that southern BBQ had to offer and creating a mouth-watering menu in the process, Cutler opened Virgil's doors in 1994 and has been a staple of Times Square cuisine ever since. For more information on Virgil's, please log on to www.virgilsbbq.com.

This year marks the tenth anniversary celebration for Tioga Downs. The entertainment complex offers live harness racing, video lottery terminals, video poker and electronic table games. A variety of eateries are also part of the racino. Jeff Gural owns Tioga Downs in Nichols, NY and Vernon Downs in Vernon, NY. Tioga Downs was recently recommended by the New York State Gaming Facility Location Board for a full gaming license. In the last decade, Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs have created more than 700 family-sustaining jobs and donated millions to nonprofit organizations. For more information on Tioga Downs, please visit www.tiogadowns.com.