NEW YORK STATE FAIR -- Outside it was another warm, sunny day at the State Fair....but inside the Empire Room patrons were treating themselves to cool air, and colder drinks.
"That's the whole idea, to give a venue that the fair doesn't typically have, and we've gotten a great response from it, people love coming in, sitting down, enjoying the air conditioning, we've got live jazz and blues," said Ben Eberhardt, Empire Room Manager.
Outside on the patio, you can order from a full menu, or feast on the raw bar, while taking in the live entertainment.
And inside a lively crowd gathered around the bar, including eleven women who have a special name and attitude for their group.
Oswego resident Dorothy Cataldo said, "We are having a girl's day, as you can see we like to call ourselves "The Popular Girls" cause we used to be cute, we still are, and we're gonna go see Reba, and we're here just having some fun."
They all hail from Oswego. The group spotted the Empire Room while walking by, and decided to stop in before the concert.
Oswego resident Mary Lou Lagoe said, "It's nice, I mean, you have your family places, but this is really nice to come in, rest, and really relax."
But this year the Empire Room almost failed to open. The original contract for the facility was voided after a review found the company received an unfair advantage in the bidding process. But just ten days before the fair, "J-G-B Properties" stepped in to save the venue.
"That was actually the real challenge, we went from zero to one hundred miles an hour, with absolutely nothing to start with, and build a full scale restaurant in about five days."
And the unique venue has been well received by this year's patrons.
"Saturday has been our busiest day yet, and obviously we're feeling it again today, so it's been a great response from the fair community and the public coming into the fair."