Downtown bar provides port in pandemic storm
By Chelsea Brown
ROCHESTER, NY – Rochester residents have experienced a year like no other amid a world-wide pandemic. The dining industry has been one of the most impacted by COVID-19, but one local restaurant has weathered the storm. Acme Bar & Pizza on Monroe Ave has remained open since late March, giving local bar-goers a small taste of normalcy with a side of New York style pizza.
“This is by far the best pizza in Rochester,” said Brooklyn native Tom Angalari. “Pandemic or no pandemic, I’d move mountains to get a slice of Acme pizza. If I’m around the city at dinnertime good luck keeping me away.”
Despite additional regulations imposed on the restaurant industry, this long-standing bar and pizza joint has fought hard to remain open for customers throughout the pandemic. Acme was one of the first to reopen for to-go only and take-out services at the end of March and has remained open since.
“We were over the moon when we saw Acme was open for to-go back in March.” said bar regular Anthony George, “At that point in time even getting bread from Wegmans was hard, so to see that one of our all-time favorite spots was offering food to-go was exciting and a big relief for us when we didn’t always know what we could do for dinner.”
Acme opened for dine-in and bar seating with limited hours shortly after Phase 3 began but has recently expanded those hours, opening daily at 2:00 PM. The benefits of expanded hours are felt by patrons and employees alike.
“I’m so grateful to have a job right now,” said Acme bartender Autumn Snell-Hoskins. “Lots of bars and restaurants were shut down and still are, so I’m grateful that I’ve had a job and paycheck all through the pandemic.”
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday that parts of Monroe county, including Rochester, are now classified as a yellow COVID cluster zone. For bars and restaurants this means closing at midnight and limiting patrons to four per table, according New York’s Cluster Action Initiative.
Despite additional regulations Acme Bar & Pizza remains open daily from 2:00 PM until 12:00 AM, offering both dine-in and take-out services to patrons while providing the community with food, beer, and a much-needed sense of normalcy.