Mr. Wilton created the Rochester Beer Park, 375 Averill Ave., He opened the spacious and utterly unique place to grab a beer and a hot dog, to provide that "hang-out space" on June 1, 2018.
"I’ve always got at least three or four different bar or restaurant concepts going in my head at any given time,"Mr. Wilton said, a serial entrepreneur, responsible for businesses like Boulder Coffee
and La Casa Mexican restaurant, and South Wedge real estate magnate. "A lot of these design components, I’ve just been looking for the right place to use them.I want this place to feel like perpetual summertime."
The 3,000-square-foot interior space is made much larger by four massive garage doors that open into the courtyard and encourage patrons to sit outside or walk around. There are umbrella-coveredtables on the interior sidewalk area and an ample backyard with natural grass, space for lawn games, and seclusion behind a white picket fence. The whole property is essentially fortified.
The interior of the bar/restaurant feels like you're lounging in a vintage Airstream with metal sheeting covering the walls and ceilings. The metal came from neighboring Spring Sheet Metal and Roofing.
And the bar back splash was crimped and fashioned to look like a vintage RV. “I didn’t want to be tied to a traditional beer garden, a traditional German beer garden, but I wanted to have thatindoor-outdoor space that was a casual hang-out spot," Wilton said.
The bar, which stretches across the majority of the main indoor area, features 60 draft lines, including 15 domestics (beers like Michelob Ultra, Coors Light, Genesee and Labatt Blue). It also has aplethora of great local options from breweries like Three Heads and Lost Borough. The elongated beer cooler is directly behind the taps, meaning the beer doesn't have to travel very far from thekeg to get into your glass. The bar features a full liquor license, too. And the license allows patrons to walk throughout the entire property — indoors or out — with a drink in hand.
Wilton loves motorcycles and envisions bikes coming in and parking in the back. He wants people to be able to admire the motorcycles while drinking a beer.
In the future, he wants to obtain an entertainment license from the city that will allow for outdoor concerts. The menu is based on backyard picnic favorites. "Any time you have a picnic, you're happy," Wilton said.
Shish kabobs (or meat skewers), hot dogs (from both Zweigle's and Syracuse's Hofmann), Swan Market sausages, macaroni and cheese, and many others. All the rolls are fromDiPaolo Baking Co. on Plymouth Avenue in Rochester and the cheeses are from Yancey's Fancy in Genesee County. "I want to take it up a couple of notches," said executive chef Ben Leitner.
"Here's a backyard mac and cheese, but we're gonna make it really good. I look at it as five-star backyard barbecue."
Wilton and his team paid attention to every single little detail in the space — from the retro neon Genesee beer sign to the old school food menu above the Winnebago