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Top 11 Amenities in Park Avenue Neighborhood, Rochester, NY

Park Avenue is one of Rochester's best-known neighborhoods for strolling and shopping in an urban environment. And it is where this agent has lived for the last 17 years.

Traveling east from Meigs to Culver you’ll find an eclectic mix of residential and commercial properties, including restaurants, bars, retail, and salons. The commercial density is greatest from the intersection of Edgerton Street to Culver. From Culver to Colby, you'll find the ABC Streets (Audubon, Beverly, Calumet,...) Neighborhood, which is quiet and residential.

The Park Avenue Summer Art Festival is one of the city's largest art festivals. It takes place every year during the first weekend of August. Another popular event is the Park Avenue Holiday Open House, held the first Thursday of each December. This is a great time to explore the many places to eat, drink, shop, or get a new hairstyle on the Avenue.

Park Avenue is a very nice neighborhood with tons of curb appeal. Most homes were built between 1890 and 1930 and exhibit incredibly diverse architecture, including various Victorian styles, the American Foursquare, the bungalow, neo-Classical, Italianate, and even the odd Art Deco or Mediterranean.

Park Avenue is conveniently located within easy walking and biking distance of other Rochester hotspots. North is the East Avenue Historic District and the Neighborhood of the Arts. A few blocks south is the Monroe Village portion of Monroe Avenue, another active area of the city for restaurants and shops. West of Park Ave is the happening nightlife of the East End, while the South Wedge is about a five-minute bike ride. Parts of Park Ave, Monroe Village, and the East End are considered to form the Park-Meigs Neighborhood.

Rochester landmarks within easy walking distance include the George Eastman House, Memorial Art Gallery, Rochester Museum and Science Center, and Village Gate. The Public Market is less than a mile away. The Rochester Public Library has a branch close by on Monroe Avenue, with the Monroe Family YMCA right next door. The East Avenue Wegmans is a quick bike ride.

Overall, its great location, vintage charm, trendy dining scene, walkability, and all-around cool factor won Park Avenue the "Best Neighborhood" award in City Newspaper's Best of Rochester 2013 poll.

Jines Restaurant

Jine’s Restaurant has been on the corner of Park & Berkeley since 1971 and is a neighborhood staple. The menu is huge, with offerings for breakfast, lunch and dinner or any time of the day when you might be hungry. Many of their specialties are Mediterranean. They also have a great wine and draft beer selection, including hand-crafted microbrewed beers.

Jine’s is perfectly positioned for outdoor diners who want to sit in the sun – especially important on a 60 degree day in February!

Marty's on Park

Marty's on Park grew from the Food Truck - Marty's Meats. It is a small restaurant with great food (this agent's opinion), both for carnivores and not.

A few examples: The frisket is a brisket sandwich with the simplest bun, topped with homemade pickles and their sauce. The meat is crispy on the outside, but falls apart with each bite in its tender glory. Their Carolina is a classic - their take on a pulled pork sandwich. You must get their homemade chips (comes as a side if you order a sandwich).

Menu options rotate, depending upon what they're smoking, pickling, etc and what's in season.

George Eastman House

The George Eastman House is where the founder of Eastman Kodak lived. It is now an International Museum of Photography and Film, with a 19th century French and American photograph holding rival those of the J. Paul Getty Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It also houses the 1st Institutional Conservation Lab established in the world. It is ranked 3rd in the number of motion pictures of all genres stored in its vaults, equal to the Museum of Modern Art, and exceeded only by The Library of Congress and the UCLA Film & Television Archive. And it is one of the 3 finest libraries of photographic literature in the world.

The George Eastman House holds Garden Vibes concerts in the summer, where you can bring your dinner and sit amongst the gardens while listening to wonderful music. Winter holiday happenings include their Sweet Creations: Gingerbread House display, Christmas trees in every room, pancake breakfasts with Santa…..

Cobbs Hill Park

Cobbs Hill Park is just a short walk from the Park Ave neighborhood over the I-490 Bridge. It features 109 acres of beauty, recreation, and scenic trails. The park's highest point, at which you’ll find the Cobbs Hill Reservoir, offers one of the best views of the city at any time and especially for fireworks. During summer nights, Cobbs Hill Park bustles with players from local softball leagues and you’ll nearly always find someone playing something there.

Washington Grove Park, which is just east of the Cobbs Hill Reservoir, is a breathtaking, undeveloped 100-acre sanctuary filled with large oaks and wildlife in the heart of the city (and is an area this agent just recently found).

Lake Riley (easily seen from I-490 and Culver Rd) is what remains from a turn around in the area called Widewaters when the Erie Canal followed the path which is now I-490.

Francis Parker School No. 23

Francis Parker School #23 is the local Grammar School for the Park Avenue Neighborhood. It was founded in 1901 with a commitment of partnership between parents, the school, teachers and students. Francis Parker School strive for excellence in learning, character and citizenship. Students thrive on active participation generated by reflective critical thinking, creative problem solving and courageous, clear action.

Dorado

Dorado is a Latin Fusion restaurant in the Park Avenue Area featuring fresh takes on Latin favorites and a full bar complete with beer, wine and cocktails.

Below you’ll find a few tidbits from patrons:

“The decor is airy and a pleasant suprise- bright colors, Latin music and artifacts.”

“This place is awesome! We sat down at an outdoor table and were immediately greeted by a friendly server with a bowl of spicy pepitas, which were promptly refilled after we emptied them. I ordered the spicy fish sandwich and my husband ordered a pulled pork enchilada. Our orders were ready quickly. Though the spicy fish sandwich wasn't spicy in the least, it was delicious, and the hot sauces the waiter brought us helped to up its spiciness level. The side salad and its tasty dressing was a refreshing touch. My husband's enchilada was delicious as well, and its red chili sauce had an interesting, zesty flavor. And the portions were perfect - both of us were pleasantly full with no need to take a doggy bag.”

F. Oliver's

F. Oliver’s is a local business owned by Rochester resident Penelope Pankow (a friend of this agent). Though it was not her first store, we are lucky to have F. Oliver’s here in the Park Avenue neighborhood.

F. Oliver’s receives their oils, provided by small regional producers who work directly with them or from one of their international distributors, in bulk, then bottle them in their stores. This means that they are truly fresh.

In addition to the oils, F Olivers has wonderful balsamic vinegars and spices. Since you can try before you buy, you can also test out your oil and vinegar combinations to make sure they are as tasty as you think they will be.

It is always a destination when this agent has friends and family in from out of town. They love being able to try all of the interesting oils and vinegars before they buy them (as they almost always do).

And the location couldn’t be better – Wine Sense on one side and Baker Street Bread Company on the other, so you can pick up everything you need for a wonderful evening without even stepping outside.

Wine Sense

“Wine is fun! We want to keep it that way. Come into the store, ask us questions, and let’s work together to figure out what you love,” says Wine Sense owner, Mike de Jong. “We have in store wine tastings every Friday from 5-7 which are a great opportunity to taste some amazing wine and figure out what really excites your palate.”

The concept of the store is to make great wine less intimidating. Easy to read descriptions accompany each wine and friendly knowledgeable staff are always available. The store is intimate, with soft lighting, carpeted floors and brightly colored walls. This is not a box store experience. The owners and staff taste every wine brought into the store and have a very collaborative approach with their customers.

Abbott's Frozen Custard

The year was 1902, and a young, enthusiastic Arthur Abbott was hard at work. He was traveling with small carnivals along the Eastern Seaboard, spending his days entertaining the public and his nights perfecting a secret recipe for a special frozen dessert. As he moved from state to state with the carnival, he peddled his delicious creation and saved the profits to support his horse racing interests. Little did he know the lasting impact his heavenly treat would make.

In 1926, tired of constant travel, Arthur settled down in the port town of Rochester, NY. He opened up shop at the corner of Lake and Beach Avenues, across the street from Lake Ontario. At the time, there was a bustling amusement park that drew crowds of people from all over. Once word got out about Arthur’s handcrafted concoction, people lined up by the hundreds to enjoy what became known as Abbott’s Frozen Custard.

In 1981, they unveiled a new frozen novelty called the Turtle, which has remained a signature menu item.

The original Abbott’s stand in Rochester continues to serve hundreds of thousands of customers each year.

And there's an Abbott's Frozen Custard right here on Park Avenue!

Cafe Sasso

Cafe Sasso is a coffeehouse and cafe that features panini, salads, breakfast sandwiches and many vegan & gluten-free pastry options. They also have a diverse menu of fresh squeezed and coffee craft cocktails. Their coffee is roasted by a variety of local//regional artisan roasters including Fuego, Boulder and Copper Horse.

Café Sasso identifies very much as a second-wave coffeehouse. Says one of the owners, "You walk into these [third-wave] coffee shops and it's usually no art on the wall, very minimalistic science-y lab and that's cool, and that's been hitting big the last four years. . . We're old school; we're like the 1960s poetry, art music - independent second wave is not going anywhere. We're here, we're strong."1 The interior is done up in an Art Nouveau style.

The location was previously the Park Ave Boulder. It was purchase in 2015 by longtime employees Peter and Jessica. The word sasso means "stone" in Italian, an homage to their origins. They reopened as Café Sasso in May 2015.

Baker Street Bread Company

Baker Street makes some of the most wonderful breads in the Rochester area (this agent's opinion). Their Honey Wheat Sesame is my favorite. In addition to the breads, they make wonderful pastries, focaccia, cupcakes, cakes, tarts. All yum!

In addition to their storefront, you will also find their products in other local establishments, some of which may be obvious (such as desserts at Hart’s Local Grocers), and some of which may not (their breads and buns are used by many).

Some praise from other customers:

“The bread is phenomenal. Always the right crust with the right texture inside. I think I've tried every bread and they are all my favorite. This bread is not like other bakeries where the bread is so dense you could use it as a door stop. The scones, the cookies, the small pizzas - all delicious. Their frosted cookies are cute & yummy. Counter service is friendly.”

“During the summer months, we do a lot of walking in the Park Avenue neighborhood and probably passed this place dozens of times but in the evenings when we were there it was closed, so we never gave it a second thought. On the advice of friends, we stopped by and were mightily impressed. Apparently, they are the source of breads and cakes for many of the area's finer restaurants. My wife and I tried a few of the samples and ended up with a cake and a pie. Both delicious! We shall return!!”

Christine Whites

Guide Author
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Top 11 Amenities in Park Avenue Neighborhood, Rochester, NY