One of Rochester’s oldest Irish taverns is turning 150

ROCHESTER, N.Y. One of the oldest Irish pubs in Rochester is turning 150 years old. And News10NBC got a seat at the bar with the owners.

John Reynolds and his brother Craig have some of the original documents of the Charlotte Tavern on River Street. They have the deed from April 1873. They have the $800 mortgage from 1903. That’s $63,000 in today’s money.

“You can see, it says Leopold Fang and wife,” John said, pointing to the names on the mortgage slip. “It doesn’t even give her name.”

Their bar is surrounded by history.

“We have a picture of the original bar at the tavern,” John said pointing to the framed print. The picture shows that 150 years ago, hamburgers were 10 cents, but they did have Genny on tap.

Their family history is here too. Their grandfather, Mickey Gill, bought it 50 years ago.

“We all called him papa but it’s Mickey,” Craig said pointing to the portrait of his grandfather on the tavern wall. “Everyone knew Mickey. He was the life of the party.”

John and Craig went to Hilton High School and left town on wrestling scholarships to Wagner College on Staten Island. John got his master’s degree in special education and did in-home therapy in New York City for a decade. Craig became an accountant and worked at the corporate level. They bought the tavern when their parents put it up for sale.

“I’m proud. I’m proud that we’re able to get 22 years of Craig and I running this and 51 years in our family,” John said.

“What does it mean to me?” Craig asked, getting choked up. “I’ve learned work ethic from my father, my grandfather. Our kids have learned a tremendous work ethic.”

Brean: “What does St. Patrick’s Day mean to this place and you guys?”
John: “It used to mean fun but now it’s just a (expletive) load of work.”
Craig: “It’s a lot of hard work. It’s stress. Yeah, a lot of stress but it’s fun to see people having a good time.”

The Charlotte Tavern’s official 150th anniversary is April 19, 1873.