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Heard on the Street: New cocktail bar to start pouring in downtown soon

December 5, 2018

The next addition to Rochester’s downtown bar mix should start pouring soon.

Bitter & Pour is expected to open in the basement space at 18 Third St. SW by mid-December, possibly as soon as Dec. 14, said General Manager Andy Ferguson.

“It will be a completely different experience than any other place in Rochester,” said Ferguson of the new craft cocktail bar. “It’s flat out beautiful. It’s a relaxed, intimate lounge that’s swankier … and sexier than anything Rochester has seen.”

Customers can expect a menu of about 20 classic and original drinks to start with, though he hopes to eventually double that to about 40 options. The list will also include some low alcohol by volume drinks that aren’t “throat burners.”

It will also offer a curated wine list and a selection on craft beers.

Unlike other local night spots, there won’t be any standing at the bar waving a $20 bill to get a bartender’s attention.

Bitter & Pour will have a host to seat customers and then a will-call waiting list after all 58 chairs are filled. And payment will be credit card only. That means no cash.

The new bar is opening in the revamped former Doggery space. The Doggery closed in May, after an almost five year run on Historic Third Street.

The four partners behind Bitter & Pour — Ferguson, John Pacchetti, Josh Kral and Patrick Hass — have significantly renovated and opened the space. The centerpiece is a 26-foot-long, custom-built dark cherry bar.

Unlike the Doggery, Bitter & Pour will eventually fill all of the basement of the Merchants Building. As the bar gets up and running, the adjacent space that previously housed the Firefly Barre fitness studio will be turned into a private event area.

Overall, Ferguson said that Bitter & Pour will focus on a high level of customer service and quality drinks featuring house-made bitters, syrups and cordials.

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