Lynn and Dan’s Pancake House Story
Pancake House’s building has been part of the beach landscape and history for over 100 years. The building was built in 1912 to serve as the Sylvan Beach's Post Office and General Store. It is one of the oldest buildings and the tallest building in Sylvan Beach to survive the many years. In the 1950s, the distinctive patios, balconies and Ionic Greek Columns were added. The columns are a signature part of Sylvan Beach Main Street. In 1957 Moe LaBella purchased the building to open an Italian Restaurant. Moe had a fun-loving unique personality and would often be heard singing his favorite song “It’s a Wonderful World". Moe saw late night opportunity and changed his Italian restaurant into an afterhours breakfast and entertainment haven, dubbed “Pancake House”. Breakfast was served as part of the night scene and into the
Throughout the years as Sylvan Beach became a sought-after entertainment hub, Pancake House was frequented by tourists, entertainers, celebrities and honeymooners in the spring, summer and fall. In the winters, guest have been more likely to be local residents, travelers and ice fishermen. Guests could get a lot more than breakfast at Pancake House, which was renowned for high stakes gambling and other late-night temptations. The history of Sylvan Beach is rich in big name entertainment. Some of the celebrities that dined at the Pancake House included Liza Minelli, Rodney Dangerfield, Frances Ford Coppola, Al Martino, Harry James, Foster Brooks, Tony Sirica, Kay Ballard, Ken Norton and Dave Cowans. Pancake House was a favorite spot for Rodney Dangerfield, Foster Brooks and Tiny Tim. Many celebrities gifted Moe signed photographs that remain part of the Pancake House ambiance. Moe LaBella passed away in 2008 and the restaurant passed through other owners who did not survive changing times until…
Lynn Rizzo Cifonelli and Dan Cifonelli had a vision. In the winter of 2015, Dan and Lynn purchased the building to give this iconic eatery a makeover with a new "old" look. The Cifonelli's and Rizzo's remodeled Pancake House with intent of maintaining historically correct design and materials. Some highlights of the renovation include revealing original boarded over windows, restoration of original beadboard ceiling, re-structuring and re-flooring from the ground up and adding an antique bar area. First time ever air conditioning was added to the building -. How cool is that?! Dan and Lynn gave literally blood, sweat and tears during construction. Finally, they topped everything with a nautical dining room finish, an historically adorned covered patio, a new kitchen and a creative menu. Dan, Lynn and the Oneida County’s tradition Italian and beachy seafood flavors intersect with American breakfast and lunch cuisine.
Lynn’s Family made Sylvan Beach their summer home for many years and her inspirational father Joe Rizzo created "What's the Scoop", an Ice Cream Shop, in 1995 adjacent to the Pancake House. Joe operated the successful Ice Cream Shop until he was 90 years old and it continues to be a Rizzo family operation. “It’s all about good people, good food and good times,” says Dan. “We want to keep giving back the historical Pancake House to the community our families have loved all of our lives”. Although the Pancake House an adult entertainment past, our theme is more family friendly with “tie dye” pancakes as a kid’s favorite. We maintain a tradition of adult fun, however, including a full bar featuring hand crafted bloody Mary's and many flavors of prosecco mimosas. Each plate is an artwork cooked to order, heathy, fresh and pleasantly served.
Although historically a 12-room boarding house and sometimes a brothel, the building’s 3rd floor had not been occupied for over 50 years when Lynn and Dan purchased. Working with engineers, an architect and contractors they restored the second and third floors into resort housing. The 3rd floor is an upscale Penthouse suite with 4 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms with views of both the lake and the canal. The 2nd Floor has two fully furnished 2-bedroom apartments. Two of the three apartments have huge, covered decks overlooking the Oneida Lake to the west - great sunsets! - and Main Street activities. The more tranquil third apartment has a deck overlooking the canal to the east.
Recognized as 1 of the Top Ten Pancakes in New York State!
Tom & Becky live at The Pancake House in Sylvan Beach!
We Love Your Hometown Tour!
It’s a little spooky in Sylvan Beach for We Love Your Hometown Tour at The Pancake House 🥞 😋 👻