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Amenities in Park Avenue, Rochester, NY

Park Avenue is one of Rochester's best-known neighborhoods for strolling and shopping in an urban environment. 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 is the ABC Streets Neighborhood, which is mostly quiet and residential.
But the neighborhood is not only noted for its business amenities, which I have to admit are quite numerous, but Park Avenue is also extremely famous for its festivals. One of those festivals, is the Park Avenue Summer Art Festival, which is one of the city's largest and most popular festivals. It takes place every year during the first weekend of August, comprising basically everything: from art to food, games to drinks, and lots of people to good music. Another popular event is the Park Avenue Holiday Open House, held the first Thursday of each December, with its lighting of the Christmas Tree and the Menorah, and with its resonating, outstanding musical performance. During this event, you can get lots of great deals in the local businesses, view an ice sculpture demonstration, and even take a carriage ride up and down the street. These events offer a great insight, to the many places to explore, eat, drink, shop, or maybe, get a new hairstyle on the Avenue.

Cobbs Hill Park

Cobbs Hill Park is a beautiful, naturally split into two sections park, located just off of Monroe Avenue. The lower area of the park has the Lake Riley pond, baseball fields, and basketball courts, as well as pavilions that can be rented for group events. The upper part of the park has a separate entrance off Highland Avenue, and it contains the historic Cobbs Hill Reservoir, a beautiful view of the city, and a cool Water Board building. The reservoir supplies the city of Rochester with drinking water, and it is also a great place for walking and running, with both an asphalt sidewalk and a one-way road all the way around. There is public parking available on the north side of the reservoir.

To the east of the reservoir is Washington Grove, the neighborhood's own small labyrinth, covering approximately 100 acres, Washington Grove has a network of trails that winds through mature oaks and interesting topography. It's also home to two abandoned water towers. The area is a popular place for dog walking (on-leash), but unfortunately, bicycles are prohibited there.

Cobbs Hill is the beginning point of a set of hills which run for a few miles along Highland Ave through residential and commercial neighborhoods, including Pinnacle Hill - the highest point in Rochester. The curious thing about Cobbs Hill, is that it is composed mostly of glacial deposits from about 12,000 years ago.
Image Courtesy of: RyDahl

Martin B. Anderson School No. 1

Named after Martin B. Anderson, the first president of the University of Rochester, who was also a professor of Chemistry and Natural History, School no. 1 has its doors and arms open for all those children who like to learn, and discover. They believe that reading is the basis on which all further learning is created. In fact, they claim that their students have read so far around 2,663 books! And they encourage each parent, and teacher, to urge their children to read. The school is currently holding a 8000 Book Reading Challenge, inspired by Dr. Seuss, and if you want to see their progress, you can always visit the „Our Road to Success” bulletin board, outside the cafeteria. The school has a nice playground, featuring swings, play equipment on a rubberized surface, a sandbox and as much open space as your child needs.

Grades: Pre-K – 6
Image Courtesy of: Elizabeth Albert

Morrison Park

James Morrison Park is a tiny park, more of a large garden, actually, located on a triangular island surrounded by Culver, Canterbury, and Harvard Streets in the Park Avenue Area. The garden-park, also marks the entry to the ABC Streets Neighborhood, as noted on a sign, and is maintained by its citizens.

The park's namesake is believed to have passed away in 1911. But unfortunately, little is known about James Morrison.
Image Courtesy of: EileenF

Baker Street Bakery

Baker Street (or Baker Street Bread Co.) is a fantastic bakery, great fresh bread (which they always have samples available of), excellent cupcakes, cookies, and other treats. The people here definitely know their baking secrets, and they make this place worth your while. The bakery has a little bit of seating inside and benches outside (in addition to some tables in the summer months).

The staff is always incredibly friendly, very helpful, and will answer and explain any questions that you do have, and steer you to a great choice of bread, and other baked goodies. You can also order the craziest custom cake you can think of: you say it, they bake it!

After you try this place, you'll always want to get your bread from here over the grocery store, there is nothing better than some nice warm fresh bread. Be sure to try the mini-pizza with ricotta, the chocolate cake with peanutbutter frosting, and the raspberry ganache.

Hours: Monday: 6:00 AM – 2:00 PM, Tuesday – Saturday: 6:00 AM – 6:00 PM, Sunday: 6:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Image Courtesy of: DottieHoffmann

Boulder Coffee Co

Boulder Coffee Company is the cutest, and artsiest coffee shop in the Park Avenue Neighborhood, and Rochester's premiere coffee house and music venue. Along with coffee, they serve alcohol and food as well. You can always enjoy, on a hot summer day, an iced coffee with Irish cream flavour, sit down in the patio or on a couch, and relax among all the beautiful wall art exhibited for sale.

All of their coffees are brewed to perfection, and created exactly how you request them them. Their Boulder Blend, the house dark roast served daily, is certified Fair Trade, as are several of their single origin variety blends. Their food is great, too! You can always grab a delicious panini sandwich, or a fresh local pastry to go with your coffee. In the evening, you can enjoy a warming coffee cocktail, or watch a local band play on stage. And if you love open mic nights, guess what? Park Avenue „Boulder's” were voted the best in Rochester!

If you're looking for a place to do some computer work, socialize a bit with a friend, read a good book, listen to some great acoustic live music, all while having a great selection of treats at hand, try Boulder Coffee Company, you won't regret it.

Hours: Monday – Tuesday: 7:00 AM – 9:00 PM, Wednesday – Friday: 7:00 AM – 10:00 PM, Sunday: 8:00 AM – 9:00 PM
Image Courtesy of: DottieHoffmann

CrossFit Park Ave

CrossFit Park Ave  in Rochester, NY offers a principal strength and conditioning program that is, by design, all-inclusive, broad, and scalable. Based around group-oriented classes with top-notch Coaches, they are doing their best to meet your fitness goals—regardless of your fitness background.

Instead of using complicated machinery and following a predictable workout schedule on a week-to-week basis, you will find kettle bells, pull-up bars, and barbells that will be incorporated into workouts with other high explosive body weight movements that force your body to move the way it was designed to move.

CrossFit's unique approach to training allows an individual to increase and improve capacity in the ten fitness domains: stamina, strength, power, speed, flexibility, coordination, cardio respiratory endurance, agility, accuracy, and balance.

The end result is an efficient workout in less time with a constantly varied programming that will have you and your body guessing. Here, you will rarely ever perform the same workout in a given year. What that means to you is a program that ensures that you will not be bored of coming to classes and will continue to see results.
Image Courtesy of: CrossFit Fever

Jembetat African Art Gallery

Jembetat Gallery and Cafe is a cafe that exhibits tribal art from Central and West Africa, from a quest cross the Sub-Saharan desert and Forests of Western and Central Africa, throughout torn areas and the harshest conditions. They also carry unique international jewelry from Europe, Bali and many other designers. Their present collection features objects from West, Central, and East Africa. The beauty of Tribal art is alive in ritual masks, bronze figures, statues and fetishes used in ceremonies and rites of passage. Wooden bowls, bead-work, leather objects and other utilitarian objects offer a glimpse into the daily life and culture of people few of us will ever know. The extensive collection represents the mystery, beauty and simplicity of African Art which has inspired artists and collectors from Picasso to present day. The gallery is located on Park Avenue, and is currently in its 24th year.

In March 2010 they expanded to include a European style cafe with seating for 45 inside and 30 seats outside on the sidewalk cafe setting. They are now a coffee shop as well and have a wide variety of desserts, gelato and bottled beer.

The music is classic Jazz with greats such as John Coletrane, Nina Simone, Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk and other Jazz legends. No Wi-Fi, or laptop use allowed, and remember to turn your cell phones to vibrate. They encourage more of a social club atmosphere, and when studying, you will find the no laptop policy very useful!
Image Courtesy of: DottieHoffman

The Frog Pond

The Frog Pond, formerly known as Charlie's Frog Pond, is a pint-sized bistro/cafe/restaurant on Park Avenue. If you don't want to miss out on the specials, you can find them featured on their daily blackboard,in addition to an already extensive and rich menu. Charlie's is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week and offers outdoor seating when weather and season permits. The reason why The Frog Pond will become your favorite place is: frittatas and mimosas. But that's not all of it. The „funkadellic” and „cramped” decor will give you that genuine New York City vibe. And on another positive note, the students of University of Rochester get a 10% discount off blackboard dinner specials! Now that's something you don't want to miss out on!

Hours: Monday: 7:00 AM – 3:00 PM, Tuesday – Friday: 7:00 AM – 9:00 PM, Saturday: 8:00 AM – 9:00 PM, Sunday: 8:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Image Courtesy of: DottieHoffmann

Voula's Greek Sweets

Voula's Greek Sweets is a Greek and Mediterranean restaurant and bakery, run by Voula herself and her mother, the sweetest business owners of Rochester. They serve standard greek sweets such as baklava and kataifi, and a small savory selection of spanakopita, tyropita and dolmades. But, despite the name, Voula's offers more than just delicious sweets, but you will also find equally enticing cakes and pastries, and Greek pizza!

Everything is fresh and home-made. If you will not try here lunch, or brunch, you will truly be missing out on this little slice of heaven. The food is exquisite, the service is fantastic, it's a very comfortable environment, and they keep the menu changing! It is one of the town's favorite ethnic lunch spots!

Hours: Monday – Sunday: 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Image Courtesy of: EileenF

Aladdin's Natural Eatery

Aladdin's Natural Eatery is a local restaurant chain serving Lebanese and other Mediterranean foods. The Aladdin's menu offers natural cuisine, as in they don't use any sulfites or preservatives of any kind, only fresh vegetables and meats. The place is absolutely awesome and a must try. The food is flavorful and cooked to perfection. Has a upstairs and downstairs eating area. Try the vegetarian combo and include the "Tourlov" as part of your combo. Their Falafel are delicious, and the portions are so great that you will barely manage to finish your souvalaki.
The place is also extremely family friendly, there are crayons available for children, and adult friendly too they also now offer free Wi-Fi to their customers and they serve beer and wine.

Reservations are recommended for parties of six or more. Take-out service is available.

Great food for a great price, you will not be disappointed if you like Mediterranean food.

Hours: Monday – Thursday: 11:00 AM – 9:30 PM, Friday – Saturday: 11:00 AM – 10:00 PM, Sunday: 12:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Image Courtesy of: DottieHoffmann

Rick's Recycled Books

Rick's Recycled Books is a book store on Monroe Avenue that stocks over 25,000 books and movies. From science fiction and fantasy to literature, contemporary fiction, and history, Rick's has it all. And if you happen to be a burning lover of books, Rick's is a kind of run-down paradise for you.

The place is abundant in used books, all incredibly cheap. At most used book stores, paperbacks run $6-8, but here you can get one for $3-4. Even better, the owner will buy back any book he sells you for 25% of the price--so everything in the store is potentially 1/4 off.

The fiction section is one of the bookstore's perks, with a wide range of the classics and recent literary fiction.

Is this place organized, though? Nope, there are just books everywhere! Sometimes you can find a pattern, but not always. Though the store keeper always knows exactly where things are, so if you are looking for a specific book you are sure to find it. If you are just browsing however this will take some work. But that's just another perk for a book lover!, having to spend a long time surrounded by all those great and cheap books. They have a great selection of new literature and classics! 

It's a good experience, and if you're a reader, be sure to bring along a cart, because you won't leave empty-handed!

Hours: Monday - Saturday: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM, Sunday: Noon – 5:00 PM
Image Courtesy of: EileenF

TRATA: The Restaurant at the Armory

TRATA is a 3-story upscale restaurant in the Culver Road Armory. The name stands for: The Restaurant At The Armory. During warmer months they offer rooftop seating.
TRATA opened on August 23, 2012. They were voted "Best New Restaurant" in City Newspaper’s Best of Rochester 2013.

The inside of the restaurant is super trendy, upscale casual, in the real all-American bar and restaurant spirit, in a modern-industrial setting. You can wear nice jeans and be fine. TRATA boasts over 48 beers on tap, focusing heavily on American craft brews in a wide range of styles. Cocktails are fun and feature only small batch or craft spirits. The front desk and the bartenders are very attentive to you and your demands.

The TRATA staff also has a famous and nice way of apologizing if sometimes your food gets delayed: a free round of drinks at the table as you wait. Nice variety of food choices, which are quite reasonably priced. The lettuce wraps are delicious here! You can try the duck quesadillas with mascaprone and cranberries for something different.

TRATA has a 8.5/10 rating on FourSquare.

Hours: Monday – Thursday: 11:00 AM – Midnight, Friday: 11:00 AM – 12:30 AM, Saturday: 4:00 PM – 12:30 AM, Sunday: 4:00 PM – Midnight
Image Courtesy of: DottieHoffmann

Dragonfly Tavern & Pizza Factory

Dragonfly Tavern is a bar that opened in January 2009 on Park Avenue; with a nice cozy decor, resembling one of those cabin clads with fireplace, thanks to the faux stone walls and the animal heads on the wall.

As of December 2009, the bar room of Dragonfly has been expanded, connecting to the front part of the building formerly occupied by Pontillo's and is called Dragonfly Pizza Factory. It appears to be open as late as the bar serving Pizza, appetizers, salads and burgers - same phone number, delivery available.

Besides the epic cheesesteak and the delicious onion straws, the bar has two dartboards, a touch screen game, ATM, internet jukebox, and a large patio out front.

Hours: Everyday: 11:00 AM – 2:00 AM (Tavern & Pizza Factory)
Image Courtesy of: DottieHoffmann

French Quarter Cafe

The French Quarter Cafe is a  family owned restaurant, where you can bring your own bottle! The place is located in the Park Avenue area and serves New Orleans cuisine.
This place offers a small taste of the bayou for a very affordable price. Tucked into a neat little house on Goodman, you'll be able to savor the flavors of natchitoche meat pies (similar to empanadas, very strong flavors – you might want to get two of those), jambalaya and delicious étoufées. As an entrée, try the cajun-fried catfish. You'll enjoy a huge filet of catfish with two sides of your choice (the sweet potato casserole is really tasty).

Hours: Monday & Tuesday: Closed, Wednesday & Thursday: Lunch: 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM, Dinner: 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM, Friday: 11:00 AM – 9:00 PM, Saturday: 1:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Image Courtesy of: DottieHoffmann

Hogans Hideaway

Hogans Hideaway is a family restaurant that has been a fixture on Park Avenue for over twenty years. During that time the restaurant underwent many expansions, but the concept has remained the same: fresh food in generous portions. They serve only fresh fish and fresh meats, bake their own bread, hand-make their own pasta, and rely on homemade desserts. Hogan's Park Ave Ale, Pale Ale and Apricot Blonde are brewed by Custom BrewCrafters.For dessert, you have to try the amazing Mississippi mudslide pie: it's super chocolatey and the addition of toasted pecans makes it even better. Definitely a must-try.

There is also a seasonal brunch. They have indoor and outdoor seating, plus an ambient bar and lounge area. Inside, Hogan's is known for its collection of fancy vintage hats and umbrellas.

Hours: Monday – Saturday: 11:30 AM – 10:00 PM, Sunday: 4:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Image Courtesy of: JoshStone

Chase Bank

Chase is the U.S. consumer and commercial banking business of JPMorgan Chase & Co., a leading global financial services firm with assets of $2.3 trillion and operations in more than 60 countries.  They are the neighborhood bank for thousands of communities across the country. The Monroe Avenue location features such services as: Deposit ATM, Deposit Friendly, Audio Assisted ATM, Drive-up, and a mortgage banker always ready to help you in finding the perfect mortage, and two ATMs operating 24/7.

Lobby hours: Monday – Friday: 8:30 AM – 6:00 PM, Saturday: 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM, Sunday: Closed

Goodwin Park

Goodwin Park is a park and playground in the East Avenue Historic District. It is located at the end of Sibley Place, a dead-end street off East Avenue, near the intersection with Alexander. However, there is another entrance on Park Avenue, and you won't miss the arched sign that marks its entrance! Aside the park and playground amenities, it also features a lovely „collection” of mushroom sculptures.
Image Courtesy of: EileenF

Susan Burke

Guide Author
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Amenities in Park Avenue, Rochester, NY