Monday, June 25, 2007

A work in progress

The best beer bar in Rochester won't serve its first beer until August. Currently, it's an eviscerated shambles.

The old MacGregor's on Gregory Street is well along in its renovation, but there's still plenty of work to do. When this place opens, it is not going to be a warmed-over MacGregor's; the building is getting a complete refurb from the basement to the roof.

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The as-yet-unnamed bar still looks forlorn

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Come have a fine beer in their inviting atmosphere

"Hey Mark," you say. "How can this be the best beer bar in Rochester before the place is even built?" I just ask you to trust me. Joe McBane, former cellar manager at The Old Toad, is a wizard at finding excellent, unexpected beers from all over the world. He has poured me too many rare and pleasant surprises to count, and the man knows how to keep his beer fresh and at the proper temperatures.

Oh, and he's English, so that has to give him SOME beer cred, right?


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the information Mark. I had been wondering about what has happened inside behind all that plywood. I was actually hoping that it would stay more in the MacG's format and less like the Toad or at least a good balance of the best traits of both bars. Sounds like it will be leaning in the Toad direction which does have some plusses (as well as some negatives in my opinion). I will try to be open minded and am very much looking forward to the opening later this summer. Keep us updated please.
- Jim -

Mark said...

I think you're going to find certain Toad-like elements: an absence of TV screens, a smaller but well-chosen and frequently changing tap lineup. But I think Joe will be quick to make adjustments as he learns his clientele.

I'm also not expecting the place to be cheap :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the update Mark. I'd say by the looks of the joint the target is more likely to be late Aug. I'm sure it'll be worth the wait.

All indications from Joe have been that his will be his own thing - not like MacG's or the Toad but an eclectic atmosphere all its own. Looking forward to it.

Cheers, John

Nate said...

Thanks for the info on this. I just found this blog and live down the street. Pretty much everyone I know in the Wedge is getting really excited for this place. There's lots of chatter.

Keep the pics coming if you can!

Dem Jones said...

We neeeeeeeeeeeeeed more pics please!