Two Of A Kind

Restaurateurs Open New Location

Bill Piazza and Kelly Becker own the Ox and Rooster restaurant and Feelin' Saucy Pizzeria in Sherman. Photo by David Prenatt

SHERMAN — Area residents Bill Piazza and Kelly Becker have a lot to crow about and it’s good for the village.

The couple recently opened the Ox and Rooster Restaurant on Main Street in Sherman in the building where the former Murdock’s restaurant had been located. Despite opening Jan. 29, during what is traditionally the slowest time of the year, the future and the food looks good.

“People were coming in here even before we opened,” Piazza said. “They were walking in and telling us how happy they are that we are here.”

The couple has already had success in their endeavors in Sherman. More than a year ago they purchased the pizza shop at 111 W. Main St. and reopened it as Feelin’ Saucy Pizzeria.

Opened in December 2017, the establishment took off immediately.

“We make our own sauce, we make our own dough.” said Becker. “We also make our own wing sauce, and we sell a lot of wings.”

When the couple first investigated business opportunities in Sherman, they looked at both the pizza shop and Murdock’s as possibilities, Piazza said.

“We decided to go with the pizza place first,” he said. “We told ourselves if this (Murdock’s) was still available in on year, we would take it.”

Although the restaurant did not require much renovation, the couple aimed at making it more family friendly. They removed the fluorescent lights and added some tables.

“We tried to warm it up a little bit,” Piazza said. “We wanted it to be a restaurant where you could come and get a drink, rather than a bar where you could get food.”

The effort to be more family-friendly also included changes to the menu. The menu features half pound burgers, steak, chicken, pasta, appetizers, soups and salads, as well as a kids’ section.

Piazza and Becker wanted to improve the quality of the food, as well. After researching many food providers, they chose the angus reserve program through Curtze Foods for their beef, Piazza said.

They are also contacting local farmers to obtain the freshest produce they can.

“The more we can use local farmers, the better,” Piazza said.

Even the name they chose for the restaurant stemmed from Piazza and Becker’s desire to sell high quality food.

“When it came time for a name, we struggled,” Piazza said. “We wanted to focus on the food, on the meals, on beef and chicken, so it flowed into Ox and Rooster.”

Piazza noted that they did not want to alienate the “pub crowd” so, although they no longer serve hard liquor, they do serve beer and wine. Head chef and general manager, John Bimber, said the restaurant has a happy hour from 4-6 p.m. during which time, they offer 50 cents off beer or wine and $4 appetizers.

However, he said, the restaurant wishes to remain “family friendly” at all times.” Bimber added that at Ox and Rooster, “We’re putting out quality food at a good price.”

Becker and Piazza met Bimber when they operated a restaurant in Randolph. They initially engaged Bimber to help train their cooking staff, but through a series of events, Bimber became their head chef.

“It just happened, John was available shortly before we opened here,” Piazza said.

The couple originally lived in Frewsburg, but moved to Sherman in August, 2018.

“We realized very quickly, we needed to be closer,” Piazza said.

However, they had already become enthusiastic supporters of Sherman.

“We definitely want to do things that bring people into Sherman,” Becker said. “It’s a cute town and the people here are great,”

Becker said the people of Sherman are what she likes the best.

“We have customers paying for other customers’ food, that they don’t even know,” she said.

The couple plans to have a grand opening sometime in the spring, after the weather improves. Currently, the restaurant is open Wednesday and Thursday from 4-8 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.