At last week’s Yates County Planning Board meeting, Town of Benton applicant Jason Martin, owner of Twin Pines Power Equipment, 1171 Route 14A, was approved for an amendment to his Special Use Permit to allow for relocation of his business to 1300 Route 14A, the former Essenhaus restaurant and bakery, owned by Tom Hansen. The sale is pending review and approval of the Special Use Permit by the county and town.
Martin plans on using the restaurant building as the office and sales floor for Twin Pines, a business he has owned since 2015, but not the property at the current location. He plans to add a 7,200 sq. ft. addition to the west side of the existing building to serve as the repair shop, and a 15,625 sq. ft. fenced area as a secure equipment area. Martin plans on displaying 20 to 30 pieces of equipment between the building and the highway in two areas of lawn, and more on the south edge of the parking lot.
Clarence Miller originally built the restaurant in 1995. Known as Miller’s Essenhaus and serving hearty Mennonite-styled farm fare, it proved hugely popular. With an added bakery and country gift shop, the Essenhaus soon became a “must” for any visitors to Yates County. Its popularity with locals kept the business busy year round. Tom and Sandy Hansen purchased it in 2006 and closed in 2011 upon their retirement. The property has been vacant and for sale since that time.