Rochester restaurants lean in to eclipse themes

Eateries leaning into eclipse with special events

Eateries leaning into eclipse with special events

ROCHESTER, N.Y — Thursday was T-minus four days until the total solar eclipse cuts across the United States. With Rochester in a front row seat, many businesses are closing their doors to enjoy the celebrations. But not the restaurant industry. 

From limited-edition items that took months of planning to “totality” bottomless brunches, spots in our area are leaning in to this once-in-a-lifetime theme. Strangebird on Marshall Street is one of those places. Strangebird teamed up with Rohrbach Brewing Company and Three Heads Brewing months ago to create an eclipse beer series. Rohrbach got the moment of totality, Three Heads took the dark side, and Strangebird took the light. 

“It’s a nice light helles lager, we actually lagered it in oak barrels for about two months so it drew out some of those oak aromas,” partner Eric Salazar said. “It’s just a nice, light, easy drinking beer.”

With just days to go until the big event, they’ve sold out of their canned eclipse beers — but there’s still plenty left on tap. That will be on display the day of, along with a barbeque and a bounce house out front for the kids. Strangebird — like Rohrbach, and Three Heads, and plenty of other places in town — will have all-day celebrations. 

So will Blu Wolf Bistro on Park Avenue. They’re holding the bottomless brunches all eclipse weekend. After the eclipse, they’ll be flying customers to the moon with their flights and bites option later that evening. It features celestial-themed flights and some of their signature bites. And originally, CEO Jason Snyder just expected locals to show op for it. 

“We were surprised when all of the sudden a few weeks ago we started getting flooded with out-of-town phone numbers making reservations for the brunch and for the flights and bites that they saw online,” Snyder said. 

Right across from Parcel 5, La Bola will be hosting the city’s official after-Party in the Dark. They’ll have a celestial menu, tarot card readers, and psychics – all with the lights off. 

“We’re calling it the Party in the Dark, so all the lights are gonna be off — the whole entire place is just going to be lit with candles,” manager Nicole Morante said. “We’ll have glow sticks and all that kind of stuff to hand out to everybody.”

Part of their goal is to keep folks in town for just a little longer after the eclipse ends, to slow the inevitable traffic jam. 

All this preparation may seem like a lot for a three-minute event. But restaurateurs said it’s an excuse to show locals and visitors alike what the city has to offer. 

“I hope people support the small, local businesses; we had a rough time coming out of the pandemic, and I think this is the first major event for the city,” Snyder said. “I think it’ll be good for the economy, and I think people will come back if we show them a good time.”

To see all of News10NBC’s eclipse coverage, click here.