If music be the food of love… great gig venues in Rochester, NY


With such a thriving night-life scene that’s, yes, centred around a colourful, youthful vibe, Rochester’s one city where you’ll never be short of being able to check out great bands and artists on the live music scene. So, if you’re likely to be visiting the city sometime soon, in addition then to looking for great places to stay in Rochester NY, look up too places to experience a great gig. Here’s a few to get you started…

Abilene Bar and Lounge

(153 Liberty Pole Way 14604)

Go for: folk, roots, rock, funk, reggae and indie

An awesome little venue that’s all about up-close-and-personal live music experiences, this place is a mainstay on the Rochester scene; it’s a byword for both established local artists, up-and-comers and nationwide tourers. One of the biggest draws, though, undoubtedly, is its capacity for offering up a bit of everything from one night to the next. Commercial and perennially popular in a no-frills, cool way, it maintains an admirable arty vibe. Well recommended, for sure.

Dinosaur Bar-B-Que

(99 Court Street 14604)

Go for: blues, rock and alt country

It may be part of a chain of retro-styled venues throughout the NY tri-state area, but Rochester’s Dinosaur iteration’s a place to be bargained with when it comes to experiencing not just fine dining (of the always tempting, Southern-style-meat variety, of course, and delicious draft brews) but terrific music. The stage is a little on the small side but the staff are well versed in what they do and, deploying a tried and tested formula, make sure that they deliver just what the punters want; night in, night out.

Lovin’ Cup

(300 Park Point Drive 14623)

Go for: rock, blues, indie, singer/ songwriter, jazz and funk

You’ve got to hand it to this venue’s proprietors; they seem to have worked out just how to host great live music acts night after night *and* ensure the place is profitable year after year. The secret to their success? It’s somewhere that’s run by fervent music lovers, for sure, but it’s properly commercially pragmatic at the same time, which means it also operates as a first-class local coffee shop, bar and bistro. You can’t knock that sort of sound business approach. And, while the the management and owners are extremely supportive of local acts, you don’t get, well, local but under-talented artists filling out the bill; as mentioned, these guys are genuine music lovers – they know what’s good and book accordingly. It’s also just the place to head to should you be staying somewhere central like the Riverside Hotel Rochester NY US for a themed-night out; for instance, brewery tastings are popular and frequent.

Rosen Crown

(875 Monroe Avenue 14620)

Go for: rock, indie, alt country, punk and comedy

Possessed of a particularly warm, even engrossing atmos, this much-loved venue (formerly known as Monty’s Krown, before it reopened last year in its current guise), is a place not just for cool music lovers but knowledgeable, open-minded and friendly ones too. You’ll find its bar is often occupied by a core of music and art enthusiasts who care about the place and who plays there; thus, lending the whole thing something of a genuine community feel – how many venues can you truly say that of? Don’t doubt it; this isn’t just a favourite of its local punters, but also the great bands and artists who return to play here again and again.