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It’s easy to pass by this little gem on Brighton Avenue in Rochester. I did—twice! You definitely want to make the time to find this spot. Located below Hollywood Gardens and just past Young’s Jewelers, Roots Rochester has captured a unique vibe while serving up exceptional cocktails. Walking up to the door, I quickly realized this is not your run of the mill Beaver County bar.
As I entered, I was greeted by doggie bowls, open garage door windows and a killer soundboard. The space itself snakes around, giving patrons intimate pockets of seating areas throughout. The décor is an eclectic mix of one-of-a-kind pieces, exposed brick, industrial, standard bar tables, 70’s couches and chairs, and antiques all thoughtfully put together to give it a funky basement feel. It’s hard to miss the lady portrait—said to be a Sewickley debutante. Writing on the bathroom walls is encouraged. Dogs are welcome to hang out with their owners. Dancing seems to spontaneously break out, thanks to the DJ skills of owner Nick. Not liking the music selection at the bar? Step back toward the pool table & shuffleboard for a completely different mix. Still not satisfied? Step out onto the patio for yet another mix. You can your game on playing any number of board games littered throughout, or show off your skills at the pool table, dart board or shuffleboard. In the mood to watch the game? Roots TV’s have the latest sports, or classic movies from the 80’s. Roots has a number of board games to pass the time.
Roots Rochester (RR) is a fitting name, as Nick’s roots are in Beaver County. Or does it refer to the roots growing beneath Hollywood Gardens above? Maybe it’s a tip of the hat to the mighty railroad yard just a few blocks away? You can be the judge when you visit and talk with Nick. He left after school, like so many other children growing up in the shadow of a declining steel mill era. After spending time in California working and DJ’ing, he moved home. He’s taken some of that West Coast relaxed vibe and given it a Beaver County twist that gives this place such a unique feel.
“I want to be your favorite place,” says Nick. The premise is simple. Bring people together with a great music mix, great atmosphere and great drinks. Roots has no kitchen, so owner Nick has brought some of Beaver County’s finest food trucks to Roots if you’d like to grab a bite to eat. Papa Duke’s, Curbside Cochina, Pittsburgh Po Boy and Papa Wood, among others are regular sights on Brighton Avenue now. a list of signature drinks with great names and even better tasting! Signature drinks like the Rochy Burro, Purple Rain, Atomic Dawg, Hey Ma and my personal favorite, the Gold Fashioned—Roots take on an Old Fashioned.
Normal hours are usually 6 p.m. until the crowd heads home and only open Thursday, Friday & Saturday. They may also open other days if there’s any Pens, Bucco or Steelers games happening. To find out what’s going on each week, follow Roots Rochester on Facebook and Instagram. You’ll find what food trucks will be there that week as well as any special openings to cheer on the Black & Gold.
To celebrate its one-year anniversary, Roots will be kicking off an end to winter (finally) and beginning of the summer season (it’s about time) this weekend, May 4 – 6. Local taco truck Curbside Cocina will be on hand serving your favorite dishes for the Cinco Summer Kickoff Weekend. If you haven’t been, this weekend is a great time to check it out.