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Facebook for Livingston County eateries goes viral in a good way

Facebook for Livingston County eateries goes viral in a good way

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When Alicia Lawless of Dansville asked for recommendations for chicken wings on Tuesday, she got more than 120 responses. 

And that’s just for Livingston County. 

A new Facebook group, Livingston County Menus, started by Zach Matzek, a Dansville school counselor who lives in Livonia, is generating lively discussions about what’s on the menu and available for takeout at restaurants and other food establishments in that area. 

Whether it’s generating more business for restaurants that are limited to takeout and delivery because of the pandemic is still to be decided. 

The owner of Avon Village Restaurant, Frank Matusak, said he can’t tell whether Livingston County Menus is helping. Business is down by 70 percent since the restaurant had to close down normal operations. 

“We were a busy place,” he said, but since most people don’t order takeout for breakfast, the restaurant’s busiest meal, they’ve all but shut down their breakfast trade. Wednesday’s special was chicken and biscuits. 

An employee at Lakeville’s 3 Legged Pig BBQ said the restaurant is holding its own. It extended its Tuesday special — two pounds of pulled pork, a dozen slider rolls and two large sides for $20, to Wednesday. Another special advertised Wednesday — a Tur-alligator, a bacon-wrapped alligator with a chicken in its mouth — had the smell of an April Fool’s Day joke to it. 

Matzek started the page March 17, mimicking a friend who built a similar Facebook page in the Utica area. He asked 25 friends to spread the word and it essentially went viral, earning 4,900 members in two weeks.

“It’s nice to see some of these businesses being at least successful and trying to stay afloat when social distancing is the key,” Matzek said. As a result of postings, he’s learning about restaurants he never knew existed, and learned more about the menus at places he already knew. Some of the most popular postings revolve around chicken wings and fish fries, he said. 

 “Our Facebook Group is growing larger by the day — and I hope everyone in Livingston County will consider doing their part to support our local businesses,” he said. 

One motivation behind the page was to create a single place where restaurants and menus could be found, Matzek said. He never expected it would generate as much interest as it has, he said.  

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