Our Staff

Neil Clark

Neil Clark

Neil Clark, the proud father of two wonderful daughters, has owned and operated the Bistro at Towpath Cafe since February 2009. His lengthy prior career as a sales representative prepared him both with business acumen and customer service experience. After his sales career Neil climbed Mt. Everest, sailed the tumultuous seas of Cape Horn, wrestled alligators in the Amazon river, and tamed two lions for the circus before beginning the challenge of his life – opening a restaurant.

Neil, always a lover of good coffee, built the café business on coffees, his wraps, paninis, and soups. He sustained business in the evening by providing live entertainment on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

In March of 2011 the restaurant and deck adjacent to the cafe became vacant. Neil was approached and asked to take over and operate the restaurant and deck. After much deliberation Neil decided to expand. Once an agreement was struck, an arch connecting the cafe to the restaurant was constructed, the dining room was painted and decorated, furniture and equipment was purchased, staff hired, menu developed and doors opened - within 25 days, (a feat difficult to achieve even for experienced and well funded restaurateurs).

Now in his second year Neil has made many adjustments and improvements to his enlarged establishment. He has many more planned!

Erica Emmerling

Tim Stephens

This past summer The Bistro at Towpath Café was very fortunate to have captured the interest of Mr. Timothy Stephens as an addition to our staff. With over 35 years of chef experience, Tim brings culinary mastery, expert plate presentation, and production efficiency to our team. His ability to smell, taste, place and deliver outstanding dishes makes him a highly valued team member.

Tim’s history includes participation in the Slice, Dice, and Spice Iron Chef Competition at the New York Wine and Culinary Institute in Canandaigua. Most recently he was the head chef at Compane Brick Oven and Bistro where he produced exceptional menu items that regularly garnered diners’ praise. At Chef at Relish and Pultneyville Grill Tim proved himself to be an asset behind the scenes by regularly creating new recipes in accordance with guests’ tastes, nutritional needs and budgetary constraints. Prior to his work at Relish and Pultneyville Grill, Tim was Catering Chef at Gatherings Catering providing food service for events from 20 to 1500 people. Tim’s baking ability (try his awesome puff pastries) and restaurant business acumen was cultivated through his ownership and operation of his own bakery, lunch restaurant and catering company. Welcome aboard Tim!

Joe Laskowski

Joe Laskowski

Joe was first exposed to the inner workings of food service by working in restaurants throughout his impressionable high school years. He took a hiatus from food service to study at the State University of New York at Potsdam from which he graduated with a degree in IT.

A turn of events post graduation brought him back to the kitchen. This time his focus became the science of cooking. From the synthesis of ingredients, the application of heat to food chemistry, to the delectable outcome, Joe’s skill in the kitchen has become notable. His knowledge of food chemistry transcends into 5 star beef, poultry, pork, and seafood dishes as well as fantastic soups and side dishes.

Joe first learned that the Bistro at Towpath Cafe had a position available from a close friend who informed him that he needed to “act fast” if he wanted to join the Bistro at Towpath Cafe's team. Upon meeting with Neil Clark (owner of the Bistro at Towpath Cafe) and touring the café, restaurant, outdoor deck and kitchen, Joe decided this would be his new home.

Ultimately, Joe’s ambition is to open his own restaurant offering fine food served in a pleasurable environment.