Summer Preview: What’s New in Rochester


What’s New

Iron Smoke Distillery, 111 Parce Ave #5b, Fairport, NY (585) 388-7584

Iron Smoke Distillery isn’t new to the Rochester area. Tommy Burnett has been crafting artisanal whisky since 2012 and if you’re in the area, almost every establishment probably has the bottles behind the bar. What is new, is the 4,000 sq. foot tasting room and event space. The full name is Iron Smoke Distillery’s World Famous Spirit Factory, Watering Room and Sideshow. And that gives you a hint as to whats there- it’s unusual and awesome. The facility looks like the inside of a gothic Victorian mansion  mixed with industrial with couches, rugs and lighting from that era. You can get a tour of the distillery, grab a beer or a craft cocktail, and watch a rock band all in the same place!  Visitors can also sample a whiskey flight including different stages of the distilling process or order a beer. They have 20 local bottles plus two on tap plus a full bar featuring spirits from Iron Smoke as well as other NY State Distilleries. It’s also right next door to Triphammer Bierworks, so don’t forget to download the Uber app before a visit to the Fairport area because you’re in for a long night! Hours are Thurs. 4-10pm, Fri. 4-11pm, Sat. 2-11pm, and Sun. 12-6pm.


Rochester Beer Park, 375 Averill Ave, Rochester, NY

Rochester Beer Park is the newest brainchild from Boulder Coffee and La Casa Cantina creator, Lyjha Wilton. The entrepreneur wanted to bring a TRUE Biergarten to the downtown area, but in a unique way never before seen. What did Wilton have in mind? Let’s turn it into a Trailer Park. Yes, you read that right. Rochester Beer Park is the kind of place where you could ride your motorcycle out in the sun and then park it for some food and a tasty brew. The bar has 60 draft lines and the 3,000-square-foot interior space has four massive garage doors that open up into an area where you can relax with a Genesee Beer and Zweigel Hot dog. The hours are 11am-2am every day.


Locals Only 311, 311 Alexander St., Rochester, NY. Photo by Whats Good in the Roc.

Locals Only 311 opened this week. The long-teased coffee lounge, restaurant, and cocktail bar is bringing new life to Alexander Street. We’ve been waiting anxiously for this spot to open, and it was worth the wait. Good use to the beautiful space the Pita Pit once occupied. Louie Maier, owner of Brass Bar and Lounge, with a team of local food, drink and design aficionados have brought the concept to life. Head chef, Adam Pastecki is bringing locally curated food and drinks to patrons. Try the Nectar of the Gods cocktail with an ice sculpture in it, or Ah Beechin’ Good Time shown in photo above with kombucha, beets, plum bitters, Black Button citrus forward gin. With delicious food, creative food and drinks and reasonable prices, this spot is sure to be a local favorite. Open all day morning (7 am) to evening 10pm (or later weekends), closing earlier on Mondays (at 2pm).


Bliss Dessert & Wine, 320 East Ave, Rochester, NY (585) 491-6728

Bliss Dessert and Wine Bar opened up in May next door to Venitos and is causing quite a scene on East Ave. It’s an open air style spot perfect for these hot summer nights. Desserts are made in house and complimented with Cheesy Eddies cheesecake. A small plate tapas style menu has offerings such as tenderloin tacos, arancini bites, house made meatballs, or quinoa and cilantro stuffed mini bell peppers, or asparagus bow tie pasta tossed with fresh herbs and truffle oil. We tried the Cheese slate (above). Hours are Wednesday-Thursday 5pm-11pm and Friday-Saturday 5pm-Midnight.


Old Pueblo Grill, 55 Russell Street, Rochester, NY

Old Pueblo Grill is a new taco shop coming from the makers of Nosh this August. They mysteriously dropped this website and Social Media out of the blue so details are pretty hidden at this time. Chef Joe Zoinierowski has been hard at work establishing Nosh as a taco destination for some time so it seems like a natural progression to take that culinary cuisine to it’s own location right down the road from Nosh. Sign up here to get on the mailing list and learn more.


Native, 180 South Clinton Ave. Rochester, NY

We spoke of Native opening up and it’s finally happening! The official opening is mid July but there are some soft openings and a ribbon cutting this week. The area’s newest casual upscale restaurant at Center City by Geva Theatre. The Mueller Restaurant Group who owns Label 7 in Pittsford are the creatives behind this new establishment. The restaurant will feature New-Age American cuisine that includes handcrafted cocktails, microbrews and a vast array of wine. This will be a great spot during festivals and throughout the summer giving Rochester a new patio to get excited about. For everyone who gets stuck in traffic, feel free to pull over, listen to some live music on the patio, and enjoy their Rush Hour specials from 3:30-6pm. Two garage doors open to the expansive patio overlooking Washington Square Park. Lunch will be served Mon. – Fri. 11am-3:30 pm and Dinner Tues. – Sat. 4:30-10pm.

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