No plastic bottles at Catskill Mountain Pizza

Bryan Roefs (photo by Dion Ogust)

Bryan Roefs (photo by Dion Ogust)

You can still get water, or whatever soft drink you wish with your dinner at Catskill Mountain Pizza, but not in a plastic bottle. The restaurant has completely phased out drinks in such containers

“It’s worked out pretty good,” said Bryan Roefs, proprietor of the establishment. “I haven’t gotten much flack from anybody. The thing that tripped me off is the whole Niagara, Cooper Lake situation…that was the pushing point.”

Does it make economic sense? “I think over the long haul, I don’t see it making much of a change. The gross was different…but was I making much money selling plastic bottles? No. At first that was one of the things I was worried about but I just wanted to get the plastic out. So somebody else gets a little business.”


Roefs puts the environment in the forefront of the decision. “Saving the planet for future generations, I guess that’s it. We need to move to more economical things. We’re using too much petroleum,” he says. “The Coke guys, everyone gives you the same argument — it costs just as much to make glass, it’s using as much petroleum, but I don’t think glass is as polluting. For me, it was that.”

But the decision has had other effects. “It got me to make my cooler smaller [saving electricity] and to get rid of stuff. So we’re offering things in cans, biopaks and glass bottles. And Coke, or soda, you can still get a 32 oz. bucket of it, get a liter in a cup if you’d like…”

Thoughts on Niagara dropping its plans for the bottling plant in Kingston using Cooper Lake water? “I think it’s great that they’re not going to do it. But who knows what’s going to happen in the long run…I hope things stay the same…but Kingston is hungry for cash, I understand that.” And about the argument that such opposition drives away business opportunities from Kingston or the town of Ulster? “I don’t think it’s deterring anybody any more than it has been for the last 20 years. I would imagine that people building plastic bottle plants have been getting into fights all over the place.”