Wednesday, June 1, 2016


As reported by the Democrat & Chronicle, Esquire recently released its list of the 18 Best Bars in America.  The list was constructed by well-known author David Wondrich, whose 2007 book Imbibe! is a colorful history of the American cocktail.  In the magazine's words, the 18 selected locations are part of "a highly select list of exceptional watering holes culled from more than a decade's worth of cross-country investigations, hangovers, and aspirin."  Two Rochester locations, namely Good Luck and Swan Market, made the list.  Western New York's presence was further fortified by Founding Fathers Pub in Buffalo as well as the mention of Genesee Cream Ale in a beer cocktail served by Occidental in Denver.

From the perspective of a non-grumpy Rochesterian:

  • It is remarkable that our bars/restaurants are being recognized among places in New York City, Denver, San Diego, Boston, Portland (OR), New Orleans, and Washington D.C.
  • Good Luck is eight years old and is credited with bringing the craft cocktail to Rochester.  We are fortunate to have a renewed energy that is introducing us to the latest trends and taking them to the highest level.
  • Swan Market is over 80 years old.  The intersection of new and old in Rochester is what gives the city a depth that is harder to replicate in other parts of the country.

Alas, not everyone is as excited about this recognition.  The grumpy Rochesterian (i.e. the Democrat & Chronicle comments) had this to say about Good Luck:
  • David didn't get around much.  It's the most overrated bar in town...
  • Pretension or complexity should never be confused with quality...


  1. After having lived in many parts of the country both urban and extremely rural, I'd say Rochester is an awesome place to be! I think our restaurant and cocktail scene has arrived and is here to stay! I had an awesome drink prepared for me on the spot at Lento and it was delish. Big thumbs up to our old upcoming city and the people who dare to make it great again.

  2. Add me to your "non-grumpy" Rochesterian that appreciates what we have here Amol! The grumpy Rochesterian should hopefully fade into the dark as more excitement builds in our fantastic city.

    1. Thanks for the comments! I totally agree - as Rochester keeps rebuilding, the wave of enthusiasm will eventually drown out the naysayers.