For those of us who have lived here a long time, new life at the site of the former Midtown Plaza is both heartening and exciting. The Jazz Fest take-over of the area this past summer demonstrated how hungry we all are to have a vibrant inner city again and Branca at Tower280 is arriving just in time to feed us! (There’s nothing wrong with a stretched metaphor now and then, especially when it fits perfectly). The sister restaurant to Branca at Bushnell’s Basin is opening Dec. 20. Branca at Tower280 will offer house made, handcrafted Italian food, and craft cocktails with a broader menu than the Bushnell Basin location and a new dimension- an Italian coffee bar so you can stop in for coffee and pastries during your day. Stay tuned for future developments at Tower280 as it creates an exciting and vibrant new life at what was once the social center of the city.
Need another reason to visit Fairport and enjoy this picturesque village on the Erie Canal? Well, here’s one- FairPour Cafe in the Box Factory building offers tasty treats, coffees, hot chocolate and fresh pressed juice. Stay cozy in the winter or enjoy the canal in the summer- a year round destination!
Pop Up Shops are the new ‘It Thing” and 2 of them have popped up in Rochester. Here today, gone soon. Warehouse 127 is in the Public Market on Railroad Street near Rohrbach’s Brewery. A great reason to grab a beer and check it out. The shop is open limited hours Thurs.- Sun. offering furnishings, decor and accessories. The last day is Dec. 18th.
Another pop up celebrating local artists and entrepreneurs opened in Pittsford in the Northfield Commons (off of Schoen Place). Fly By Pop Up Shop is open November and December and is packed with work from Solveig Studios (the sponsor) and other local artists and makers with unique goods and products.
The Strathallan Spa made its debut opening on Dec. 3rd. We’ve been anxiously awaiting the Strathallan Spa’s make-over reveal in the gorgeous brick carriage house across the street from the hotel. Now that the comfy chic make-over is complete, this gorgeous space has turned into a luxurious urban oasis with 3 floors of massage and treatment rooms, a men’s and women’s lounge with showers and double sided fireplaces. The third floor houses the blow-dry bar. We’re psyched about the blow-out membership- $100 for 4 blowouts per month. Services include massage, facials, manis, pedis, hair styling and make-up. Sounds like this has the making of a perfect weekend getaway…. During the holiday season, take advantage of the grand opening offer featured on our Shop Local Gift Guide.
Lest we forget that there is a west to the area well worth exploring, Clutch Kitchen and Sports Bar opened this September in Greece. Enjoy the game on one of their 25 tv’s, pick a beer from their selection of over 70 craft beers, a craft cocktail, or choose from their Moscow Mule menu (10 to choose from). The menu includes both bar food and dinner items such as the Pork Belly, Truffle Mac and Cheese, pasta, and Ribeye. The Game Changer Burger sounds like just thing to fuel up on!
Pat, The Chai Guy, is Rochester’s 1st chai tea crafter. Although not necessarily new, but new to many, his Chai tea is the real deal- no powders, syrups, concentrates of fakery. Real ingredients, love and time go into his chai. After experiencing chai during a trip to India, he created his authentic version back home and now brings it to us via his weekly mobile cafe at the Public Market (Saturdays year round and Sundays through the holiday), event catering and served up at at Glen Edith, Pittsford Farms Dairy, and Sips. Grab a fresh brew, or bring it home to brew yourself, and enjoy this ancient drink.
For more of what’s new in food and drink this December, click here to read Part 1