• Our Story

    The Incredible History of The Box Factory & Fairport Lift Bridge

    The Towpath Grille, located in Fairport New York, is a full service restaurant and bar offering indoor and outdoor seasonal dining. Our American eats include lunch and dinner with catering and private event options.


    The indoor grille has an inviting, warm and eclectic feel emphasized by its large windows offering a perfect view of the Erie canal and one of the most unique Lift Bridges in the world: The Fairport Lift Bridge. Allegedly appearing in Ripley's "Believe It or Not!" due to its unusual construction, it is the only bridge in the world built on a bias. It is an irregular decagon, an engineering feat with no two angles being the same and no two corners are square. The adjacent Box Factory building, now home to the Towpath Grille, has a lively history itself.
    The site was originally purchased by Daniel DeLand in 1852 where he built and operated the Deland Chemical Works. It suffered a devastating fire February 4, 1893. The factory was rebuilt shortly after the fire but fell victim to competition from Arm & Hammer.

    In 1906 the York State Fruit Company occupied the vacant facility to produce cider and cider vinegar. The business was purchased about 1911 whereupon fruit pectin and Certo was invented and became popular. Unfortunately, fire once again claimed the wooden structures and the factory met its demise. The proximity of the property was too valuable to allow it to sit idol for long. This time it was built of brick and stone. In 1947 H.P. Neun moved its box factory into the facility, hence its current name. Unbelievably, the box factory burned once more. This time it was rebuilt as a business and retail complex.

    The Box Factory name still remains today with its long and enduring history and sturdy brick structure and, in January of 2009, Neil Clark opened the Towpath cafe within as a relaxing, comfortable place to grab a cup of your favorite java and enjoy the friendly atmosphere.

    Neil is a strong advocate of local musicians and immediate;y saw the value of hosting open mic on Thursday evenings and began providing select performances on Friday and Saturday nights.

    In May of 2011 Neil expanded the cafe to include a dining room and large deck located on the Erie canal. He increased menu selections to include delicious entrees and full breakfasts. He quickly realized that the Box Factory deck is a wonderful outdoor dining experience and the dining room offers private gathering opportunities.

    By spring of 2017 Neil and his partner Tracy brought the newly renamed and remodeled Towpath Grille into full swing.
    Come and enjoy the rich history and beautiful views that the strange bridge and old factory have to offer.

  • Then & Now

    The Box Factory

    Canal Side Box Factory in Fairport
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