Center City: the Best Places to Check Out Around the Liberty Pole

Landmark Society |  Website

Landmark Society | Website

Rochester's Downtown scene is in a period of rebirth. With new developments (Tower280), renovations (Legacy Tower, The Metropolitan, & The Sibley Building), and existing residential areas (The Temple Building Lofts), you can't deny it's changing - and growing - for the better.

With the Liberty Pole being an iconic landmark of our city, and at what some would argue to be our city's true center, we want you to know what is available. Whether you are a visitor at one of our city's best hotels (Radisson, the Hyatt, and the Hilton Garden Inn), you are a long-time church goer at Grace Road Church located in the Temple Building, a student at the Eastman School of Music, or if you are a newly minted resident in one of the cool lofts, here are the best places to check out when you are around the Pole.

Abilene Bar & Lounge

Reconnect Rochester |  Website

Reconnect Rochester | Website

Map It: 153 Liberty Pole Way

A quaint little neighborhood bar/live music venue serving up great drinks from a friendly staff. On warmer days enjoy the patio and definitely check it out during Jazz Fest!

Connect with Abilene: website, facebook, twitter

Bar Bantam

Bar-Bantam.jpg

Map It: 1 South Clinton Ave

Located on the first floor of The Metropolitan, Bar Bantam is open for Breakfast and Lunch (Monday-Friday) as well as Dinner and Drinks (Wednesday-Saturday). Menus change seasonally and you’ll find plenty of gluten-free and vegan options.

Connect with Bar Bantam: website, facebook, instagram

Branca Midtown

the Rochesteriat

the Rochesteriat

Map It: 280 E. Broad Street

This new restaurant located at Tower280 not only offers authentic Italian Cuisine, but a full Italian Coffee Bar. Pop in for lunch, dinner, cocktails, or even just an espresso.

Connect with Branca: website, facebook, instagram

Center City Terrace + Lounge

the Rochesteriat

the Rochesteriat

Map It: 125 E. Main Street

If you're looking for your new favorite summer night spot, check out the Center City Terrace + Lounge on the 4th floor of the Hyatt Regency Rochester. Grab a drink, order off their Pub Plates menu and enjoy a beautiful and unique space in downtown Rochester.

Connect with CCT+L: website, facebook, instagram

Drifters L.B.

the Rochesteriat

the Rochesteriat

Map It: 155 E. Main Street

Steps inside the Hilton Garden Inn Downtown you'll find Drifters Lounge & Bar. Yes, it might be a restaurant in a hotel, but that doesn't matter. For a peek inside check out our post from September, Drifters LB: not your Average Hotel Kitchen.

Connect with Drifters: website, facebook, instagram, twitter

Java's Cafe

the Rochesteriat

the Rochesteriat

Map It: 16 Gibbs St.

A long time Rochester favorite, this cafe serves up your favorite lattes and drinks but also great sandwiches, baked goods, granola and more. It's always busy, it's always good.

And while you're at it, check out the calendar for the Eastman School of Music - you never know what free concert might be happening just next door. Or in the warmer weather pop over to Yogen Fruz just across the street.

Connect with Java's: website, facebook, instagram

RIT City Art Space

RIT-City-Space.jpg

Map It: 280 E. Main Street

New to the City Center neighborhood is the RIT City Art Space that opened on the ground floor of Sibley Square. The gallery is open Thursday-Sunday from 1-5pm and will feature new exhibitions monthly!

Connect with RIT City Art Space: website, facebook, instagram, twitter

Stromboli's Restaurant

Stromboli's |  Facebook

Stromboli's | Facebook

Map It: 130 East Ave

From their Breakfast Stromboli, to pizza, salad, pasta and more, Stromboli's on East Ave has so many options you won't be able to decide, they even have vegan options.

Connect with Stromboli's: website, facebook

Unter Biergarten

Map It: 120 East Ave

In the former home of Victoire, you'll now find Unter Biergarten. Having just opened in February and serving up their Bavarican Cuisine (that is Bavarian/New American), Unter Biergarten has already become a Rochester favorite. Check them out for lunch or dinner and don't miss their selection of Wurst from Swan Market, the Loaded Bavarian Tots, and well, everything else on the menu.

Connect with Unter Biergarten: website, facebook, instagram


Other Areas to Explore

Rochester Parks |  Website

Rochester Parks | Website

St. Joseph's Park

Just North West of the Pole you'll stumble upon some Rochester History at St. Joseph's Park. This former Catholic Church almost burnt down entirely in 1974 and thankfully the Landmark Society along with the City of Rochester and some other groups and organizations worked hard to restore and preserve what remains. This is perfect for a picnic or an afternoon of exploring.

Map It: Pleasant St & N. Clinton

the Rochesteriat

the Rochesteriat

Grove Place Neighborhood

Tucked behind the YMCA on E. Main and Press Coffee you'll find Grove Place. If you're looking to "step out" of the city and wander, this is the perfect place. This neighborhood is said to be "the oldest continually occupied residential neighborhood in Downtown Rochester" and we think you'll love it's charm, art, and architecture.

P.S. all of the places listed are around a quarter mile or less from the Liberty Pole - that is definitely walking distance!

Post was originally written in 2017 and has been updated since!


Did you enjoy the post? Sign up here for our WEEKLY email to get the BEST/QUIRKY/FUNNY/COOLEST (etc.) things to do in our city! 

3 Reasons You Need to Go to the Kodak Visitor Center

Whether you’re new to Rochester or a long time Rochesterian, get the Kodak Center on you MUST-DO list, now. Formerly known as the Kodak Theater on the Ridge and then Kodak Center for Performing Arts, the Kodak Center features touring productions, musicians, comedy, kids shows and more.

the Rochesteriat

the Rochesteriat

While you should definitely check out their list of shows, we want to make sure the Kodak Visitor Center, which opened in December and is FREE, is on your radar. Here are 3 things you don’t want to miss:

1. Over 130 Years of Kodak History

the Rochesteriat

the Rochesteriat

Kodak has a very deep and rich history here that extends beyond Rochester and now there’s a place to learn about it in person.

Learn about the start of Kodak, the way it impacted the world we live in, the Kodak cameras that went to the moon with Apollo 11, see the first digital camera, learn why film has perforations on the outside and so much more.

Check out this quick intro video on the Visitor Center:

2. The Exhibitions

The Rochesteriat

The Rochesteriat

The very first temporary exhibit featured at the Visitor Center was The Lost Coloramas, highlighting the work of photographer Neil Montanus. Neil traveled the world with his photography, he’s known for taking “the best portrait ever” of Walt Disney as well as shooting 55 of the 565 Kodak Coloramas that hung in Grand Central Station from 1950-1990.

the Rochesteriat

the Rochesteriat

While The Lost Coloramas has ended, check out what’s opening next: The Kodak Park Works by Justin Scalera.

3. Ugly Duck & The Retail Shop

The Rochesteriat

The Rochesteriat

The best way to start your tour of the Visitor Center may be first to grab a coffee at Ugly Duck Coffee and then peruse the exhibitions….

The Rochesteriat

The Rochesteriat

Well, whether you do before or after your tour, you won’t want to miss this space housing Ugly Duck Coffee (grab coffee, a latte, tea, chai or maybe some pastries from Scratch Bakeshop) and the Kodak Retail Shop featuring mugs, bags, shirts, and more.

Not only will you have a great beverage from Ugly Duck, but the shop is also full of great gift ideas for someone who once worked at Kodak, someone who moved away from Rochester, a Rochester history buff (or fanatic), or maybe even a little something for yourself!

Kodak Visitor Center Hours:

Monday-Friday: 9am-5pm
Saturday: 9am-3pm
Also open during Events & Shows

Ugly Duck Hours:

Monday-Friday: 9am-5pm
Saturday: 9am-3pm
Also open during Events & Shows

Website: Kodak Center
Location:
200 West Ridge Road
Follow Along: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter

 

Sign up here for our WEEKLY email to get the BEST/QUIRKY/FUNNY/COOLEST (etc.) things to do in our city! 

15 Places You Should Be Thinking of for Brunch

the Rochesteriat | Jines

the Rochesteriat | Jines

Rochester's brunch game is strong.

There are a lot of the great diners and restaurants for breakfast, like neighbors, Jine's and The Frog Pond, but do you know about these 15 great places? If not, you should be thinking about them for brunch (p.s. we revised our post from 10 to 15, because ROC is so great).


1. Blu Wolf Bistro

the Rochesteriat

the Rochesteriat

While you may think of stopping here for a burger and drink after work, don't miss out on Blu Wolf's brunch offerings like their Hangover Bowls and Chicken n'Waffles.

Find it: Website, Map


2. Brown Hound Downtown

Brown Hound has been located in the Memorial Art Gallery for a year now. With the bakery and the restaurant you'll find many offerings including lunch, dinner, and brunch on the weekend.

Find it: Website, Map


3. Cure

Cure, located at the Public Market, focuses on seasonal menus from locally sourced products. And in case you didn't know it, Sunday is brunch day. Check it out.

Find it: Website, Map


4. The Frog Pond

Another longtime breakfast staple in the city is The Frog Pond. Open for breakfast and lunch daily, they offer a menu full of omelets, eggs benedict and more.

Find it: Website, Map


5. Glen Edith Coffee

Glen Edith Coffee on Somerton St. off Park Ave. has been serving up waffles, breakfast sandwiches and more since the beginning. Who doesn't love breakfast all day, everyday?

Find it: Website, Map


6. Lento

Lento does not offer brunch every week, so you have to keep your eyes on their social media accounts for upcoming brunch days!

Find it: Website, Map


7. Locals Only

Breakfast, lunch, brunch, dinner, cocktails… Locals Only is more than just a coffee shop. Check out their menu to see what they’re all about.

Find it: Website, Map


8. Marty's on Park

From food truck, to brick and mortor, to brunch! Marty's is a new addition to our list, just launching brunch on February 18th.

Find it: Website, Map


9. McCann's Local Meats

Breakfast sandwiches, pancakes, and so much goodness from one of our favorite local meat establishments. And now, thanks to their new espresso machine, you can get a latte, cappuccino, cortado and more.

Find it: Website, Map


10. Nosh

The newest of all of these restaurants, Nosh, has recently announced on Instagram that brunch is finally here. Need we say more?

Find it: Website, Map


11. The Owl House

The Owl House has great options for not only the meat-eaters, but also vegans, vegetarians and people who are dining gluten free. Enjoy the Chicken N Waffles or even the Tofu N Waffles (and don't miss the brunch cocktails).

Find it: Website, Map


12. Radio Social

With their Middle Eastern cuisine, Radio Social’s brunch runs from 11am-3pm on Sundays. Their menu changes seasonally so follow along on social media or check out their website for the latest menu.

Find it: Website, Map


13. The Revelry

While The Revelry is open Tuesday-Saturday for dinner, they also feature a great Sunday brunch. Check out specialties like The Sangwich or the Short Rib Pastrami Hash.

Find it: Website, Map


14. ROUX

The kitchen at Roux is putting out classic French cuisine and the brunch is top-notch from the Waffle Sammy and Smoked Salmon to the simpler Brûléed Grapefruit.

Find it: Website, Map


15. TRATA

In case you didn't know, not only does TRATA have great lunch and dinner options (plus all the cocktails, beer & wine), but brunch ALL DAY on Sundays.

Find it: Website, Map

This post was originally written January 2017 and was updated on 1/25/19!


Sign up here for our WEEKLY email to get the BEST/QUIRKY/FUNNY/COOLEST (etc.) things to do in our city! 

Stefanie is Co-Founder of the Rochesteriat. She is a big fan of all breakfast foods from the sweet to the savory and can't pass up a great brunch. Join the conversation on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Bloody Mary Fest: 11/18/18

If you missed the 2017 Bloody Mary Fest, don’t worry... it’s back and even bigger. This year, the Bloody Mary Fest is on Sunday, November 18th at the Main Street Armory. Here’s why we think you should go:

14 Bloody Mary Samples

the Rochesteriat

the Rochesteriat

Each ticket includes samples from 10 restaurants and new this year: 3 popular Bloody Mary mixes. Not only are you getting to try 13 completely different Bloody Mary’s, each restaurant has a garnish that is equally as great as their drink… yum!

It’s a Competition

the Rochesteriat

the Rochesteriat

Not only is this a fun event, it’s a competition. The constant for each Bloody Mary is that they’ll be made with Tommyrotter Distillery Vodka. After that it’s up to each restaurant (and mix) to impress YOU. Every attendee will be able to vote after they’ve sampled from each vendor.

Vote for categories like "Rochester's Best Bloody Mary", and "Best Garnished Bloody Mary", and the "Best Bloody Mary Mix".

The Lineup

the Rochesteriat

the Rochesteriat

the Rochesteriat

the Rochesteriat

Other Vendors

Besides the restaurants and mixes, there will also be other local vendors, a DJ, a "make & take" craft station, a photo booth by Hype Booth, as well as a cash bar, $5 Mimosas and Screwdrivers, and food for purchase from the Main Street Armory.

What are you waiting for, go snag your ticket!

Date/Time: Sunday, November 18th, 1-4pm
Location: Rochester Main Street Armory, 900 East Main Street
More Details: Website - Facebook - Ticket Page


Did you enjoy this post? Sign up here for our WEEKLY email to get the BEST/QUIRKY/FUNNY/COOLEST (etc.) things to do in our city! And don't forget to follow along on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Amore: Classic Cocktails with an “Italian Twist”

the Rochesteriat

the Rochesteriat

On September 4th, Amore Italian Restaurant & Wine Bar launched a brand Cocktail menu to their already extensive Wine & Beer menu. Amore is calling the new line up: classic cocktails with an “Italian twist”.

the Rochesteriat

the Rochesteriat

You’ll find favorites like a Manhattan, Old Fashioned, Negroni Sour and more, all with Amore’s unique touch. The “Black Manhattan” contains chocolate bitters, the “Italian Old Fashioned” features blood orange liquor and orange bitters, and the “Margarita Speziata” includes blood orange liquor and spicy honey.

They are almost too pretty to drink!

the Rochesteriat

the Rochesteriat

Along with the launch of the cocktails came a brand new (almost daily) Happy Hour. Running from 4-7pm Monday through Saturday, the Happy Hour bar menu includes $6 cocktails, draft beer and house wine specials as well as $10 pizzas and other featured menu items.

Speaking of menu items, don’t miss the house-made pastas, mouth-watering pizzas and everything else that comes out of the kitchen from the Chef Pasquale Sorrentino.

For more information and to see the menu: Amore’s Website.
Follow along on social media: Facebook & Instagram

 

Did you enjoy this post? Sign up here for our WEEKLY email to get the BEST/QUIRKY/FUNNY/COOLEST (etc.) things to do in our city! And don't forget to follow along on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.