When the Genesee Brewery announced it’s plans to build a new brew house - museum and restaurant on the edge of High Falls in downtown Rochester it was the first real development to be announced or planned in that region in many years.
The plan – as they stated would bring tourism – economic stimulation – job development and more to a battered and needed neighborhood – It was a shock to me when people suddenly lined up to get in the way due to the plans they had to knock down a building in the space where they would place the event space and parking for the new brew house.
I am glad to say that even with the controversy of the demolition (I was on the side of demolition in the name of progress as I believe we cannot live in the past at the expense of the future) – The Brew House seems to be doing well. They renovated a space to look like this:
We arrived at the Brew House on Friday evening to find not one parking spot available – and only 1 table in the restaurant. The place was packed – with what Sheila and I assumed was just the Friday after work happy hour crowd -
Then we looked around – the happy hour crowd – seemed to be at the bar, I saw people on dates, families eating together, meetings going on and other groups all enjoying dinner at the tables. I figured by 7pm it would settle down a bit but It never did. We stayed from 6PM until a bit after 9pm on a rainy, chilly spring night in Rochester and people continued filing in all night long.
The brew house is a success – It is bringing people, in mass quantities to a neighborhood they would NEVER go to at night prior to this, spending money and enjoying the city.
High Falls is beautiful – A river and a waterfall cutting right through the middle of our city – What other city can claim this? The Brew House offers outdoor seating overlooking the falls and a rooftop terrace to hang out on which might give the best views of High Falls that you can find anywhere in the city.
Top this off with amazing customer service and you have a winning solution. After dinner we went to sit at the bar so more people could eat at the tables – We sat down ordered some drinks and the brew master was sampling some beers on tap to make sure they were good- I looked at him and he asked while filling a glass with the Southern English Brown Ale if I wanted to try it – I said “sure” and he gave me an entire beer to “sample”. That sort of service is rare in other breweries.
I am glad the brew house is doing so well – I plan to visit many other times to sample the new beers at the pilot brewery- the question is though - Where should we go for our next brewery visit??