About Us, Offerings & Service Philosophy

Nestled just off the beaten path on the West side of the historic State Theatre, The Watershed is a bar and gathering space serving Ithacans and visitors seven days a week. Designed and built by Gideon Stone and Mike Barnoski of Trade Design Build, the Watershed is majority owned and operated by Ashley Cake and Dave Thomas. Together, they are GDAM Industries, Inc.

The Watershed offers conversational atmosphere until 1am for people of all ages and tastes, a bookish social space where delicious beverages and comfort foods set an understated baseline for Ithaca’s varied night life. Tea and coffee, a curated list of classic cocktails, regional, national, and international selections of beer and wine as well as delicious soft drinks, The Watershed has something to offer everyone.


Duotone Window


Duotone Front

Our Values & Social Responsibility

The Watershed is an establishment committed to serving our customers in the best way we possibly can, which for us goes beyond delicious food and beverages.

Sustainability: The Watershed as an establishment recognizes the escalating dangers of climate change and aims to lessen the bar’s impact on the environment. We emphasize an economy of packaging and preparation that works to produce foods and beverages with as little waste as possible. What waste we do produce we aim to recycle and compost.

Service Philosophy: As a social gathering space, service at The Watershed is shaped to provide an atmosphere of mutual respect, safety, and enjoyment. In addition to providing some of the most delicious foods and beverages the Ithaca area has to offer, The Watershed is committed to responsible alcohol service that fosters a rich and positive conversational interaction between customers, friends, and staff members. This commitment is reflected not only in the soft music, quick service, and beautiful acoustic “sky,” but also in the training and expertise of The Watershed bartenders, all of whom have undergone specialized training in how to identify and de-escalate potentially harmful interactions between people, particularly folks who are intoxicated. The Watershed bartenders are empowered to refuse service to anyone who would willfully disrupt the quiet enjoyment of our customers.