By Matt Kensek, Mark Cuminale, Chris Suarez, Ricky Wolf
Canalside Chronicles Staff
Lampposts cast shadows on the surrounding Main Street shops in the village of Brockport as a cluster of adults and students make their way toward one of the local bars. This is the nightlife of the town; of-age students having a good time, bustling in and out of the local establishments with their friends. During the day however, the bars are less lively. With the end of August bringing students back to Brockport, local bars are preparing for the uptick in business.
Inside the C&S Saloon, owner Mitch Newman chats with the bartender on duty. In the early afternoon, there isn’t much activity when compared to a busy weekend night, save for one or two individuals who enter and have a seat at the counter.
When asked what is done to handle the uptake of potential customers, Newman explains that they’ll have an extra bartender on staff while having two staff members watching the door.
For Newman and the C&S Saloon, Thursdays tend to be the most popular night.
“We go through more stuff [with students in town]. If kids are old enough to come in and drink they’ll usually come in on Thursday nights. That’s our big night.”
On problems involving college students, Newman stands with the students.
“Everybody blames everything on the college students,” he says. “They’re no worse than the rest of the people. They’re human.”
Across the street sits the Custom House Bar and Grill. The restaurant is quiet in the afternoon, a few tables stocked with people enjoying lunch. A Moose head overhangs a set of steps leading to the lower level, where Andrew Musumeci bartends for customers.
Musumeci explains that the Custom House isn’t the top choice for college students, joking that most college students aren’t coming in for $10 bourbons, but that he does see business pick up during the semester.
“We’re not necessarily the late night spot – we close most weekends at 11 pm. We don’t deter college students but we’re more of a casual atmosphere,” he says. “We like to be fully stocked all the time – we order more when business picks up. Being on the canal, business changes once the weather drops but once students are back in town business picks back up again.”
The Bill Gray’s Tap Room occupies a space in one of the plazas on the south side of Main Street. Aaron Root, who works at the Tap Room, says that the football season coinciding with students’ return helps a lot.
“Generally we try to keep a large amount [of supplies], but we probably do 15-20% more when the semester starts. Sundays are busier with football season as well.”
All businesses cherish periods when they see a rise in sales, and for local Brockport bars this is no exception. The start of the semester and beginning of football season helps to bring about an increase in business for these establishments. As long as of-age college students remain safe and drink responsibly, local owners don’t have any complaints. Like everyone else, college students just want to have a good time.