What makes a bar incredible?
A huge beer assortment, great food, incredible service and friendly bartenders?
Rochester Inn has all of these going for it as I discovered during my lunch today.
This place has been on my "visit" list for some time.
I just decided to move it to the top as I was only around the corner from the Rochester Inn this afternoon.
This quasi-rustic place reminds me of a bar-restaurant that I used to frequent when I was living in Colorado.
Located on Rochester Road a couple of miles west of 279 in the North Hills section of Pittsburgh.
The Rochester Inn sits on the edge of the road, surrounded by forested hills, and a rambling creek running beside it.
Walking up to the building you can smell the hardwood grill puffing out an aroma, that if you close your eyes, you'd swear that you're in the Rocky Mountains.
Especially on a chilly day Spring time day.
What a great escape.
The building fits in perfectly with the wooded "forest" surroundings as it is constructed of stone and wood.
Passing through the front doors and entering this place reminds me of a ski lodge and has a very relaxed atmosphere.
The dining room is the first place you walk through with booth seating line both walls.
To the rear is the open walled kitchen and the fire breathing grill is easily the focal point. As you drift to the left you come into the enormous bar area.
LCD televisions litter the walls and there is not a bad seat in the house.
Plenty of seating at the bar or on any number of tables on both sides of the bar.
A stage occupies one corner of the bar room area.
High tops are scattered around on both sides of the bar room.
The high tops are removed in the stage area to make room for a dance floor on Friday and Saturday nights.
Some great local dance bands play here:
Night Life, Dancing Queen, Mercedez, No Bad Ju Ju and others.
The bartender claims it gets rather crowded during the weekends so arrive early and squat at a table for the evenings events.
I counted 10 beer taps which appeared to have a couple of micro brews available.
Signs on the wall announce what the day's specials and prices will be.
Beer specials on Thursdays from 9 to 11pm are $1 Miller draft.
Food specials for each day are posted as well.
Mondays half price wing days, Tuesdays Burger and fries for $5.95 and so on.
Scouring the menu I ordered the bacon cheeseburger for $5.75 and added slaw and fries for another $1.95.
The rest of the menu had a really good assortment of foods that would make any diner or restaurant a crowd pleaser with its offerings.
The 1/2 pound burger was big and very tasty.
Being cooked on a hardwood grill makes a difference.
The batter coated fries were crisp and there were plenty of them.
The slaw was just okay.
My drink never ran dry and the bartender was very friendly.
It turns out the the young female bartender is the owner's daughter.
She stated that the Rochester Inn was purchased by her father a few years ago.
He added an outside covered patio, increased the height of the ceiling in the bar, installed the hardwood grill and generally just made it a larger more friendly space.
In my opinion it worked.
The Rochester Inn appears to draw a wide slice of patrons.
From the local business lunch crowd; construction workers after work for beers; families having an evening dinner, and on the weekend nights pretty much anything goes depending on the band playing.
I would imagine the bands that play here would draw the 40 and up age group.
If you are seeking a place that has a good assortment of great food, beers, and relaxed atmosphere...then the Rochester Inn would be a nice choice.