THE WATERSHED a Farm to Fork Ithaca Story



From unique cocktails and regional beers on tap to locally roasted coffees and a long tea list, a visit to The Watershed is sure to quench your thirst and immerse you in the flavors and culture of our community, whether you’re a long-time local or passing through Ithaca, NY for the first time.


Partner Ashley Cake describes The Watershed as a bar and social gathering place for people of all ages and tastes, where it’s always quiet enough to have a conversation and always light enough to read. And with a free library built right in, reading is encouraged.

“In a certain way we were trying to build this place for locals and around the stuff that’s offered locally. So, when folks that are visiting Ithaca wander in, they’re stepping into a richly and thoughtfully developed local atmosphere.”


The Watershed is a zero-waste bar, and this goes far beyond the recycling and composting we’re used to at the many sustainable businesses around town.

“We’re trying to lead by example in terms of sustainability. Nobody’s ever done this kind of bartending before,” explains Ashley. With a menu constantly changing based on what’s available, they opted for digital menu boards instead of going through a wasteful cycle of updating printed menus on the regular. Behind the bar, they use high-end citrus products instead of fresh fruit to decrease food waste without compromising on drink quality. In a standard bar, it takes about 4 pounds of ice to chill a glass and shake a cocktail, but at The Watershed many of the drinks are built in the glass to lessen the amount of ice and water wasted in the bartending process.


Don’t overlook the locally-sourced food menu. Grab a “Watershed Sammy” on an Ithaca Bakery baguette to tide you over during happy hour or satisfy your sweet tooth with locally baked rugelach with your after-dinner cocktail.


“There’s a tremendous amount of collaboration that happens here because of our Agri-culinary community. I pick up the rolls every day from Ithaca Bakery – they ask what I’m doing with them, and they give me ideas. This whole place was built on relationships.”

For more delicious farm-to-fork fare in Ithaca, ‘Gorges’ outdoor recreation and family entertainment:

The Watershed’s ever-evolving menu is always up-to-date at

Photo by Allison Usavage.

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