Rochester's Blue Ribbon Developments - Rochester's Transformation

Ribbon Cuttings and Ground Breakings

Rochester is proud to showcase blue ribbon developments across the city. Whether it's the opening of a business or non-profit agency, the launch of a street re-construction project or the unveiling of a City service, these events are opportunities to celebrate the dedication and hard work of the people who make them possible.



 CostcoCostco Wholesale Membership Warehouse: June 5, 2015

Mayor Lovely A. Warren joined Anthony J. Costello & Son Development and local leaders for a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the grand opening of Costco Wholesale Membership Warehouse Club at CityGate.

The 156,000 square-foot store is Costco’s first location in Western New York and is the first business to open at CityGate.

CityGate, located at the southern gateway of the city will offer a mix of residential and commercial space, recreational opportunities and more when completed. Read more



Groundbreaking for Boys & Girls Club of Rochester Expansion: June 5, 2015

Mayor Warren attended a groundbreaking ceremony to mark the start of the Boys and Girls Club expansion in Southwest Rochester.

The multi-million dollar building expansion will increase the size of the club by 10,000 square feet. The additional space will include adding a performing arts section which will house a music and art room and a dance studio. 

The larger facility will have more space for computer technology and the reading and homework tutoring program. The developers of the space hope to make the club a flagship facility for after school programming and community engagement in the Southwest quadrant. Read more.


EdgeOfWedge0511155NBD076psEdge of the Wedge: May 29, 2015

Edge of the Wedge is Buckingham Property’s newest mixed-use destination for people looking for a cool, hip place to live and play.

Edge of the Wedge is a newly renovated building in the South Wedge that will include 30 residential apartments and retail locations when the development is complete. Two of the 3 retail locations are already leased--The Cub Room and McCann’s Local Meats.

The Cub Room received a $25,000 grant and a $25,000 loan from the City.

Read more.


SomethingDelicious0511153NBD096psSomething Delicious:  May 27, 2015

Business owner Mina Rivazfar-Hoyt says the scenery and friendly neighbors of the South Wedge and Highland Park area made for the perfect place for her to open “Something Delicious.”

Something Delicious, located at 1441 South Ave., offers fresh and unique desserts, cakes, cookies and pastries. They feature a different special for each day of the week which includes “Maple Bacon Taco Tuesdays,” “Whoopie Pie Wednesdays,” and more.

Mina hopes that coming to Something Delicious to get desserts becomes a tradition for all holidays, family gatherings and special occasions.


LaVieSpa0410153NBD069psLa Vie Salon Spa Wellness: May 20, 2015

La Vie Salon Spa Wellness, located at 4 Elton St. in the Neighborhood of the Arts is a full-service salon, owned by Robin Gore that provides a comprehensive mind, body and spiritual health and wellness programs. Facials, manicures and pedicures, massage, Reiki and organic spray tanning services are also available. Fitness classes include yoga, Pilates and Fit X Expand.

Sixteen jobs were created when La Vie opened earlier this year. Business hours are:  Mondays (by appointment only), Tuesday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.


 ribbon-cut-hands-2 Dress for Success Rochester: April 24, 2015

City of Rochester officials joined founder Alyssa Whitfield for a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the grand opening of Dress for Success Rochester, Inc. at 47 State St. in Downtown. Dress for Success Rochester is an affiliate of Dress for Success Worldwide, a non-profit organization that helps disadvantaged women achieve economic independence through a comprehensive approach to helping women gain employment and move towards self-sufficiency.

Dress for Success is seeking donors and volunteers. Interested individuals and businesses can get more information by calling (585) 678-1041. Read more.


cannonballCafe0410151NBD073Coffee Connection at the Cannonball Café: April 17, 2015

The Coffee Connection at the Cannonball Café in the Charlotte Neighborhood provides employment training and job creation for women in recovery from addiction and as a not-for-profit business sells fair trade, organic coffee to retail and wholesale customers.

In partnership with Project Empower, The Coffee Connection empowers women and their families, coffee farmers from around the world and Rochester neighborhoods.

Customers can enjoy a cup of coffee or espresso or a latte at any of the Coffee Connection stores and relax in the comfortable atmosphere of a hometown coffee shop.


saxbys-cafeSaxby’s Café: Monday, April 6, 2015

Saxby’s Café is located at 1307 Mt. Hope Ave, at the College Town site

Saxby’s is a hospitality business and is proud and excited to come to Rochester and become a staple in the local community. It operates 30 cafes in eight states.

Thirty new jobs were created with the opening of Saxby’s Café. Read more.


Camp-Puzzle-PeaceCamp Puzzle Peace Family Autism Center: February 11, 2015

City officials joined founder Jen Hackett and community members for a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the grand opening of the Camp Puzzle Peace Family Autism Center, located at 1150 University Ave., Suite 8.

The new Family Autism Center provides families and school age children with skill-building opportunities that promote independence, active lifestyles, networking and expanded opportunities to participate in the community.

Camp Puzzle Peace works in collaboration with other agencies such as Managing Autism Together Today and Habitats for Hope.

Read more.



 Button-LoftsButton Lofts: December 17, 2014

“DHD Ventures owners Thomas Masaschi and Jason Teller have done a wonderful job revitalizing this beautiful building and bringing added value to the Monroe Village,” said Mayor Lovely A. Warren.

The Button Lofts building, formerly the M.B. Shantz Button manufacturing factory, is located at 340 Rutgers St. The Button Lofts include 36 apartments and three town homes units that range from 700 to 2,200 square feet. Finishes include unique wooden vanities, poured concrete countertops and real wood cabinetry and flooring.

The development costs were about $6.5 million. The County of Monroe Industrial Development Authority provided a Payment in Lieu of Taxes agreement. A historic tax credit was also utilized. 
Read more.


ribbon-cut-handsDePaul Celebrates Completion of Carriage Factory Apartments: Thursday, December 4, 2014

DePaul was joined by city, state, public and private partners to celebrate the opening of the Carriage Factory Apartments. The open house will marked the transformation of the over 100-year-old Cunningham Carriage Factory into 71 studio, one- and two-bedroom loft apartments for income-eligible tenants. DePaul’s renovation of the historic Cunningham Carriage Factory memorializes the thriving manufacturing business that was once housed in this 73,000 square foot building. The Cunningham name was recognized worldwide as the maker of superior quality vehicles from coaches and carriages to automobiles and airplanes. The renovation of the formerly vacant, four-story building celebrates its history with an original brougham-style Cunningham carriage purchased from John and Sue Greenall of the Greenall Carriage House of Windsor, Vermont on display in the lobby and a gallery of drawings, photographs and artifacts.

ribbon-cut-hands-2City Celebrates Upgrades at City Parks: Thursday, October 30, 2014

Mayor Lovely Warren was joined by Department of Recreation and Youth Services Commissioner Marisol O. Ramos-Lopez and Assistant Director of Recreation, Jim Farr for a ceremonial ribbon-cutting to celebrate the completion of two newly-renovated park spaces at JR Wilson Park and the Avenue D R-Center.

Renovations at JR Wilson Park, located at 21 Burrows Street, included the demolition of outdated basketball courts, play equipment, fencing and an asphalt sidewalk adjacent to entry of park and renovations at the Avenue D R-Center outdoor field, located at 200 Avenue D, included the demolition of outdated play equipment and a baseball field. New construction included pre-teen and tot play sets with Fibar® safety surfacing, swings, a ramp walkway with guide rail, and a new softball infield with backstop. Landscaping was enhanced with new terracing, surface painted games, benches, trash receptacles, bike racks and trees. Read More 

ribbon-cut-handsButaPub: November 26, 2014

Father and son business owners Ed and Asa Mott invite you to ButaPub, located at 315 Gregory Street, in the Historic German House. ButaPub features a menu with comfortable dishes for any palette. Items such as Japanese ramen, Vietnamese banh mi sandwiches and pork belly on house-made steamed buns share menu space with familiar burgers, wings and other pub favorites.

The Motts hope their selection of barrel-aged cocktails, sake options and meticulously considered beer and wine from local brewers and beyond will appeal to every taste. Read More 


El-MorroEl Morro Bakery: November 18, 2014

Mayor Lovely A. Warren joined City Councilmember Jacklyn Ortiz and business owners Pedro Ortiz and Brenda Rios today to celebrate the grand opening of El Morro Bakery, 980 N. Clinton Ave., which will specialize in baked goods and desserts from Puerto Rico in the heart of an area called La Avenida.

“El Morro is going to be a wonderful addition to North Clinton Avenue,” said Mayor Warren. “Many people who live here will enjoy favorite foods from their native land and others will travel from outside the neighborhood to find unique and special items they won’t find in other bakeries. When they get here, they’ll see all the great things that are happening in this neighborhood and they’ll tell their friends about it.” Read more


ribbon-cut-handsReynolds Media Center at Central Library: November 17, 2014

Mayor Lovely Warren was joined by Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks, Monroe County Library System and Rochester Public Library Director Patty Uttaro and Jason Schwingle, President of the Washington Square Park Neighborhood Association for the Rochester Public Library, at a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the grand opening of the new Reynolds Media Center at the Central Library of Rochester & Monroe County, located on the first floor of the Bausch & Lomb Public Library Building at 115 South Avenue.

The Reynolds Media Center features approximately 5,800 square feet of library space that offers residents of Rochester & Monroe County the opportunity to explore, imagine, learn and borrow the latest electronic and digital products and services in the marketplace. The collection includes tens of thousands of audio books, musical sound recordings and videos for loan—both fiction and nonfiction in DVD and Blu-Ray formats. Read more


Inner-LoopInner Loop East First Fill: November 17, 2014

Mayor Lovely A. Warren hosted a “First Fill Ceremony” today to mark the start of the construction phase of the Inner Loop East Transformation Project, which will convert a stretch of the sunken expressway into a vibrant urban boulevard.

The new streetscape will increase traffic safety, reconnect neighborhoods with the Center City and increase the potential for economic activity in one of the city’s most sought after commercial areas. Reclaiming this land will create roughly six acres of developable land, increase local tax revenues, create jobs, generate private investment and reduce the City’s highway maintenance costs by about $1 million a year. Read more


 Gallery-Salon9-14Gallery Salon: October 9, 2014

A salon filled with art is perfect addition to the Neighborhood of the Arts. Located at 4 Elton St., the Gallery Salon is a place where patrons can be pampered while adoring vintage art pieces.

Erika Schramm, owner of the salon, relocated to Elton Street for extra space that would allow her to feature her extensive vintage collection from hair dryers to chandeliers, on a backdrop of walls throughout the salon. Read more

ground-break-generic-1Stadium Estates: October 6, 2014

Stadium Estates, located on the Corner of West Broad and Walnut Streets (across from Sahlen’s Stadium), is a new apartment complex for Downtown Rochester. The building will consist of 45 rental units (28 buildings) serving households at 60% AMI and below. The units will be located on current City-owned vacant lots scattered throughout the JOSANA neighborhood and will be comprised of single family houses, duplexes and 3-bedroom units.

Families who live in these apartments will be offered community support from the Charles Settlement House, Inc.

Construction is expected to be completed by December 2015.

Hardy-ParkHardy Park Apartments: October 2, 2014

The Hardy Park apartments, located at 191 Jefferson Avenue in the City’s Southwest neighborhood, feature a completely renovated 8,300 square foot structure with 10 one-bedroom apartments. Hardy was designed to appeal to today’s growing market of residents seeking affordable city living with a strong sense of community. Owners Sylvia and Sherman Hardy recognized a need for quality, affordable housing options in the neighborhood and renovated a 94 year-old building with help from the City to fulfill this vision.

“Growing up in this community gave me a personal understanding of its housing needs, but also a perspective of its past and a vision of what the future can be with targeted investment,” said Mr. Hardy.

The Hardy Park apartments is located in one of the City’s Focused Investment areas. Read more


 Mollys-yogaMolly’s Yoga Corner: September 17, 2014

Find your center on Monroe Avenue. Molly’s Yoga Corner offers a variety of traditional Yoga practices that focus on physical poses and breathing exercises. Certified instructors teach various methods of movement and relaxation.

Molly’s Yoga Corner is a great fit in the hip and trendy Monroe Avenue and owner Molly Huff is excited to help students become one in mind, body and spirit. The studio is located at 713 Monroe Ave. Read more



Apogee Wine Bar: September 12, 2014

Entrepreneurs Simone Boone and Patrick Dutton opened the Apogee Wine Bar on 151 Park Avenue. The owners hope the bar will become gathering place where patrons can have a good time with their friends while sampling unique wines from all over the world. Apogee features a unique wine menu and four wine dispensing and preservation systems that enable them to offer a broad range of wines by the glass.

Boone and Dutton selected Park Avenue because of it’s culturally rich and sophisticated feel. The wine bar brings a metropolitan feel to Downtown Rochester. Read more




ROC City Realty: August 22, 2014


Friday, Aug. 22 marked the opening of ROC City Realty, 196 Atlantic Ave., a real estate and rental business that offers unique services such as monthly educational seminars to provide guidance to prospective homeowners in the home buying process and a “Tenant Finder Service” for the apartment developers and landlords.

For owner Carmelie Diamond, it's a dream come true. After having spent 12 years in the real estate field and 20 years in sales, she is thrilled to be opening her own business. Eager to help people with their housing needs, Diamond’s mission is expressed in ROC City Realty’s slogan, “making Rochester smile one home at a time.” Learn More 



ribbon-cut-hands-2ROC Brewing Company: July 25, 2014

Business owners Mary Spinelli, Christopher Spinelli and Johnathan Mervine opened the ROC Brewing Company at 56 S Union St., in hopes that the brands offered at the microbrewery will eventually attract a regional audience.

“We are working hard to further establish a craft beer culture in the heart of Downtown and bring the great experience and economic benefit of this industry to the city we love,” said Christopher Spinelli. “We want to build on the success of Rochester’s great brewing history.”

Specializing in the production of craft ales, ROC Brewing focuses mainly on session ales in the American Craft Beer culture.
Business hours are Wednesday 5 to 9 p.m., Thursday and Friday 5 to 11 p.m. and Saturday 3 to 11 p.m.  Read more.




Sweet Sammie Jane's Dessert Boutique: July 30, 2014

With more than 50 flavors of French macarons, Sweet Sammie Jane’s brings a bit of France to Rochester, at 701 Park Ave. Sweet Sammie Jane’s is a dessert boutique specializing in French macarons, mini pastries, cakes and cookies that also offers retail items from cookie plates to gift cards and catering service with breakfast, sandwich and buffet packages.

Owners Angela and Kathie Marmo chose to relocate their catering and bake shop business from Chili, NY in favor of the energetic atmosphere and eclectic customer base of Park Avenue. Angela Marmo is a graduate of Chicago French Pastry School’s “L’Art de la Pâtisserie” program and always dreamed of returning to Rochester to open her own shop. Kathie Marmo ran a successful catering business in the Rochester area for 13 years prior to joining forces with Angela and has a passion for cooking and entertaining. Read more



 charleston-house The Charleston House: June 12, 2014

Entrepreneurs Tracy Williams, Terrell Brady, Leonard Brock, Isaac Bliss and Kirk Robinson opened The Charleston House restaurant at 1733 Norton Street, creating seven full-time positions, the majority of which are held by city youth.

The Charleston House serves American food with a southern flair. The menu includes Cajun fried catfish, crispy chicken and steak pizzas and chicken wings. The menu also features some trendy favorites like chicken and waffles.

The Charleston House is open from 5 to 11 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and Sunday from 1 to 6 p.m.


 The Gluten Free Chef Bakery and Market: June 11, 2014

 gluten-free-bakery6-14City Councilmember Elaine Spaull joined owners Calvin Eaton and Blossom Fox at a ceremony today to mark the opening of The Gluten Free Chef Market and Bakery, 181 Monroe Ave., which is owned and operated by Mr. Eaton and Blossom Fox.

“I am honored to welcome Calvin and Blossom and the Gluten Free Chef Market and Bakery to Monroe Avenue,” said Mayor Lovely A. Warren. “Together they have found a way to match their passion for food with the growing need for gluten and dairy free products. Add that to the advantages of starting a business in the emerging Wadsworth Square commercial district, and I think it’s clear that they have found a recipe for success.” Read more


Soup-spoonThe Soup Spoon: May 14, 2014

The Soup Spoon is a family-owned restaurant serving Cambodian comfort food and Asian fusion dishes, located across from the College Town site and just steps away from the University of Rochester campus at 1378 Mt. Hope Ave. Restaurant owners Chhaya and Brianne En say of the specialty items at The Soup Spoon is Pho, a popular Vietnamese noodle soup.

Pho can be tailored to customers’ individual taste preferences as the customer determines what protein and garnishes will go into their bowl. Also on the menu -- fresh spring rolls, stir fry and num pang, a traditional Cambodian sandwich.

The business is open Sundays and Mondays, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Tuesdays through Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays, from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.  Read more.


julianna-spaJulianna’s Salon and Spa: May 9, 2014

Business owner Julianna Meyer has been in the cosmetology industry for six years, first apprenticing, then moving to her own chair and is now proud to open Julianna’s Salon and Spa, 656 South Avenue. Julianna says she pursued her dream and took time to find the perfect location for her shop in Rochester.

“Entrepreneurs such as Julianna Meyer are critical to making Rochester a vibrant place to live and work,” said Mayor Lovely Warren. “The City is committed to assisting our businesses small and large and Julianna’s Salon and Spa is a wonderful addition to the South Wedge neighborhood.”

Julianna’s Salon and Spa offers a full menu of salon and spa services as well as makeup and bridal packages. Read more.


city-grillCity Grill and Ballroom384: May 8, 2014

The addition of City Grill and Ballroom384 further solidifies East Avenue and Alexander Street as a restaurant and entertainment destination. City Grill has ample of space for entertaining, a patio with an outdoor fireplace and fire pit and a full-service bar that includes a selection of artisan cocktails, beer and wine.
Owner Michael Tascione and Managing Partner Alan Russell combine more than 55 years of experience in restaurant, bar and event planning.
Ballroom384 event planning offers all aspects of event planning with a modern and sophisticated ballroom with space for 200 guests.

The project benefited from a low interest loan through the City and also received COMIDA benefits.

City Grill is open Monday through Wednesday, 11 a.m. to midnight; Thursday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. and on Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Read more .


 yellow-hausYellow Haus Bicycles: May 7, 2014

Yellow Haus Bicycles began as a home based family business and owner Alex Wirth is excited to provide the first bike shop in Rochester focused specifically on commuting, utility-based, and alternative transportation.

Yellow Haus, located at 987 Monroe Ave, provides cycling related products and services directly aimed at consumers who are passionate about transportation and utility cycling.

The store stocks new and vintage bicycles, e-bikes, cargo bikes, parts, accessories and provides expert repairs. It is open Wednesday through Saturday from noon to 7 p.m. Read more.


abode-furnitureAbode Rochester: April 25, 2014

Abode Rochester, located at 289 Gregory Street in the City’s South Wedge neighborhood, is owned by Amanda DeFisher and Ariane Krenichyn, whose goal is to “give shoppers fresh and inspiring ways to express their personal style without costing an arm and a leg.”

The store offers a unique selection of home furnishings, décor, and gifts at affordable prices. Abode grew out of a passion for incorporating interior design elements to create living spaces that feel modern, unique and cozy. In addition to some vintage pieces, the store offers art and crafts from local artisans as well as nationally sourced pieces.

Abode received financial assistance in the form of a small business micro-loan from PathStone and First Niagara bank. Read more  


wireless-wizardThe Wireless Wizard: March 7, 2014

Business owners Tariq Bradford and Balil Abdullah invite you to The Wireless Wizard--a one-stop cellular shop that offers repair service for telephones, tablets and other devices, service activation and device customization, located at 1159 E. Main St.

“We are pleased to welcome The Wireless Wizard to the City of Rochester,” said City Neighborhood and Business Development Commissioner Del Smith. “This store brings a much-needed service to this neighborhood and the surrounding area. The success of The Wireless Wizard will help bring more retail and service businesses to the area.”

Bradford and Abdullah selected East Main Street as the location of their store because it is a central location that is easily accessible. The store is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Read more  


MansawearMansawear:  February 28, 2014

Business owner Nita Brown started out by organizing trunk shows and is excited to open her own storefront at 367 Park Avenue. Founded in 2004, Mansawear features women’s clothing and accessories that blend the fashions of Ghana and the United States.

“MansaWear is a show place for our clients to see and touch our beautiful fabrics and well-made outfits,” said Brown. “I want to introduce women to the elegant designs made from high quality, beautiful fabrics from Ghana.”

Every outfit is made to measure in Ghana and shipped back to the customer in the United States. The designs feature enigmatic stripes, waves and dots and geometric patterns. Read more  


taste-of-ethopia-2Taste of Ethiopia: February 14, 2014

City Neighborhood and Business Development Commissioner Delmonize ‘Del’ Smith joined business owner Mesrak Tesfaye at a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the grand opening of the Taste of Ethiopia restaurant, located at 155 State Street in Downtown.

“It is my pleasure to welcome Ms. Tesfaye and her staff to this prime location Downtown,” said Commissioner Smith. “We thank her for choosing to do business here and investing in our city. Taste of Ethiopia brings a new flavor to Downtown and we wish her great success in this beautiful building.”

Taste of Ethiopia is a full-service restaurant serving lunch and dinner. Ms. Tesfaye aims to provide authentic Ethiopian-style cuisine to her customers with the flavors and ambiance of the cultural beauty of Ethiopia in the newly renovated space. Read more.



 Dixon-funeral-g-break Expansion of Dixon Funeral Home: February 1, 2014

Owners Geraldine L. Dixon and the Rev. Roosevelt Dixon broke ground to celebrate the pending construction of an expansion to the G.L. Dixon Funeral Home, 1080 North St. The G.L. Dixon Funeral Home was established in 1989 and is a family-owned, full-service funeral home, noted for its compassionate and affordable services. 

“Dixon Funeral Home has been an institution in Northeast Rochester for many years, and I am honored to help mark this special occasion,” said Mayor Lovely A. Warren. “I am proud to call the Dixons my neighbors and friends and wish them the best of luck with this expansion.”

The funeral home will undertake an expansion of the embalming area, interior upgrades, and the construction of a new parking lot. Funding for the $300,000 project is being provided by the City Department of Neighborhood and Business Development, and includes low-interest financing and a grant. Read more 


 Blu-Wolf-Bistro-1 Blu Wolf Bistro: December 23, 2013

Owners Roland Perrin and Jason Snyder boast passion for both food and hospitality and are excited to bring Blu Wolf Bistro to the Rochester dining scene.

Blu Wolf Bistro, located at 657 Park Ave., bills itself as a “gastropub,” or a neighborhood sports bar that serves gourmet pub food and drinks in an upscale, inviting atmosphere. The bar offers three dozen draft beer options and wines from around the world.

The menu features traditional favorites like burgers and fried fish cooked with quality ingredients in a fashion designed to earn the respect of Rochester’s most seasoned connoisseurs of fine food. Read more.


Gantt-center-1David F. Gantt Community Center Renovations: December 20, 2013

After two years of planning and gathering community input, and 14 months of construction, the $2.7 million renovation of the David F. Gantt Community Center is now complete.

The new Gantt Center now features a redesigned and renovated interior with a full slate of new amenities including a commercial kitchen, a music recording studio, a computer lab teen lounge, and a family fitness center with state-of-the-art equipment and exercise machines.

The center, located at 700 North St., is the City’s biggest and busiest Recreation Center, and hosts numerous sports programs, the Earth Explorers environmental education program and the innovative RocMusic program. Read more.


Havana-CabanaHavana Cabana: December  11, 2013

Owners Matt Cole and Trey Yager call the Havana Cabana an “escape to a relaxing island,” and encourage patrons to come early and stay late.

The Caribbean themed restaurant serving fresh Cuban/Caribbean inspired entrées is located at 289 Alexander St. in the heart of Rochester’s East End District.  Its rum bar features custom cocktails and more than forty premium rums.

Live Caribbean and Calypso music is played on Friday and Saturday nights with plenty of room for dancing in the 3,500 square-foot space.  Read more.



 JF-Jones-Jewlery-11-13 JF Jones Jewelers 85 Years Anniversary: November 20, 2013

City Neighborhood and Business Development Commissioner R. Carlos Carballada joined business owner Colleen A. Jones for a ribbon cutting ceremony celebrating the 85th anniversary of JF Jones Jewelers, located at 660 W. Ridge Road.

JF Jones Jewelers was founded as a repair shop in 1928 by Joseph F. Jones. The store has been in the same family for four generations, surviving the Great Depression and evolving into jewelry and gift store. 

Colleen Jones credits the business’s success to its dedication to customer service, early adoption of new technology, unique product offerings and the store’s experienced and talented jewelers.


Rochester-Optical-11-13Rochester Optical: November 16, 2013

Rochester Optical's fourth optical retail store, located at 1575 Mt. Hope Ave., serves the daytime population of the University of Rochester and Medical Center as well as neighborhood residents and the general public.

Founded in 1932, Rochester Optical is a manufacturer and distributor of digital lenses, eyewear and contact lenses serving optical professionals, military and government agencies with fashion, performance and safety eyewear.

Its three other retail stores are located on Lyell Ave in Rochester, Greece and in the Perinton Mall. Read more 


Marina-G-BreakPort of Rochester Marina Project: November 14, 2013

Mayor Thomas S. Richards joined federal, state and city leaders and members of the Charlotte Neighborhood at a groundbreaking ceremony marking the start of construction on the Port of Rochester Marina project at the mouth of the Genesee River on Lake Ontario.

The Marina will be a catalyst for development that will create up to 2,500 construction jobs and 300 permanent jobs. It will create a new stretch of waterfront property, increasing the value of public land that is currently vacant and not generating revenue. The project features a new deep-draft marina basin that can accommodate 85 boat slips, relocated roadways and a connection of the Genesee Riverway Trail to a new public promenade that will be built around the new marina.

Construction of the marina should be complete by the spring of 2015. Read more 


Holy-Rosary-R-CutHoly Rosary Apartments: November 6, 2013

Providence Housing Development Corporation celebrated the opening of Holy Rosary Apartments, 414 Lexington Ave.,with a ribbon cutting ceremony.

The former Holy Rosary parish campus has been converted into a community center and the former school, convent and rectory now houses 35 affordable housing apartments.

The redevelopment also includes the construction of 25 new single family rental homes throughout the Edgerton Neighborhood built on scattered vacant city parcels within a 10-block distance of the Holy Rosary campus.  

Read more



Pasta-ChefPasta Chef To-Go: November 13, 2013

Business owner Jan Puglia celebrated the grand opening of Pasta Chef To-Go, a take-out restaurant offering fresh Italian food at 260 N. Winton Rd.

Puglia retired from a 37-year career at Xerox and previously operated PJ’s Sub Shop in the 1980s. It has been his life-long dream to own an Italian restaurant, sharing his family recipes and offering a convenient service he describes as “fine food to-go.”

Pasta Chef To-Go is open Monday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., and on Sunday from noon to 4 p.m.  Read more  


PAWS-openingPAWS Community Clinic: October 19, 2013

PAWS Inc. (Providing Animal Welfare Services) hosted a ribbon cutting and open house to celebrate its new headquarters at 1105 Ridgeway Ave.

The non-profit organization offers free or low-cost veterinary care, education and outreach and seeks to rebuild and establish the value of a relationship between pets and their owners and the community overall.

PAWS' outreach program developed by founder and president Matt Piccone, is the first of its kind in Rochester, using a grassroots approach to animal welfare. For example, volunteers will stop pet owners on the streets, knock on doors and speak to neighbors in an effort to keep animals out of shelters and rescues. Read more 


Academy-bldg-openingAcademy Building: Sept. 5, 2013

Rochester’s landmark Academy building located in the City Hall Historic District has been redeveloped by owner and developer George Traikos of Fitzhugh Associates into 21 luxury lofts and 6,000 square-feet of customizable commercial space.

This High Victorian Gothic architecture style building was designed by Rochester architect Andrew Jackson Warner, and built in 1873, as Rochester’s first public high school, the Rochester Free Academy.

“Yet another landmark building has been turned into something useful—helping our transformation of Downtown.” said Mayor Richards. “The beautiful Academy Building is wrought with history and we are thankful to George Traikos of Fitzhugh Associates for his commitment and for the consistent support we receive from Empire State Development Corporation in our endeavors.”

The project’s more than $7 million in total investment includes an $800,000 Restore NY grant, a $700,000 City of Rochester loan, Federal and state historic rehabilitation tax credits as well as assistance from COMIDA. Read more


windstream-openingWindstream Move-in / Pike Company Opens Seneca Building:  Sept. 3, 2013

More than 50 years after Midtown Plaza first opened in downtown Rochester, officials today gathered to celebrate the rebirth of Midtown with a ribbon-cutting for a revitalized Seneca Building, including tenant Windstream’s new offices.

The project was the first private development to take hold on the Midtown Rising site after Windstream acquired PAETEC Holding Corp. two years ago. Windstream will bring 335 of its employees to Downtown by the end of October.

“Just last year, we gathered here for the groundbreaking on this project that started a new chapter for Midtown Rising and for our Center City,” said Mayor Richards. “I want to thank our many partners—both in the public and private sectors—who have shared and contributed to our vision of transforming Downtown into a community asset fit for the 21st century.” Read more.


project scionProject Scion 2013: August 28, 2013

Landscape designers Pietro Furgiuele of Waterford Tilling, Sharon Coates and Bruce Zaretsky of Zaretsky and Associates have transformed the corner of Dewey and Ravine Avenues into green space and reading garden for the 2013 Project Scion.

The project entitled “The Gateway,” creates an entrance of sorts to the Dewey-Lexington neighborhood. The green space features boulder seats, a rolling hill for children to play on, outdoor chess tables and a “Take a book-leave a book” lending library, all surrounded by gardens and trees. The “Do We” Art Walk was made with painted pavers created by the Project Scion team, neighborhood kids and residents.

Project Scion, now in its second year, is an initiative to take vacant lots in Rochester and turn them into resident-inclusive green spaces to serve as “town squares.” The 2012 Project Scion called “The Orchard,” was installed at Jay and Child Streets has been a great success in that neighborhood. Read more.


Rochester-Community-Animal-Rochester Community Animal Clinic: July 26, 2013

Rochester Community Animal Clinic is the Monroe Veterinary Associates’ new outpatient animal clinic located at 985 Bay Street, providing economical veterinary services for dogs and cats, including income-based spay and neuter procedures and after-hours outpatient urgent care services and wellness care.

“Friends of Ferals” clinics will be scheduled once a month to address the feline overpopulation problem. During the clinics, 30-40 feral cats will be spayed or neutered, and receive vaccines and other treatments. The clinic will provide 14 new jobs, including four full-time and 10 part-time positions. Read more.


RPD-downtown-openRochester Police Department Downtown Detail Office: July 25, 2013

The new 7,500 square foot Downtown office is located in the Sibley Building at 30 N. Clinton Ave. The office is staffed by one crime prevention officer, 32 patrol officers, six supervisors under the command of Capt. Peter Leach.

The primary focus of the Detail is to provide a uniformed presence during business hours of the work week, when Downtown activity is at its highest levels.

The office business hours are 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday and officers assigned to the Detail will be available for service from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Read More.


El-Pilon-ribbon-cut El Pilón Criollo: July 19, 2013:

El Pilón Criollo is a take-out restaurant that specializes in traditional Hispanic food such as rice and bean dishes, fried pork, baked chicken, fried chicken, stew, ribs and fritters.

This restaurant is family owned and operated by by Zury Brown and her three daughters, Zulma, Christina and Alejandra -- familiar faces in the Clinton Avenue neighborhood since the restaurant’s original location opened in 2008.

El Pilón Criollo is open Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Read more.



brooks-crossingGroundbreaking Ceremony for The Flats at Brooks Crossing: July 12, 2013

The $18.7 million Christenson Corp. project consists of a 12-story mixed-use building near the corner of Brooks Avenue and Genesee Street, with a second, 4,000 square foot, single-story building facing Genesee Street.

The University of Rochester will be the main tenant of the riverfront building, with 10 floors students housing, and a lower-level scull boat house. A 5,000 square foot restaurant will open on the first floor of the building.

Approximately 200 construction jobs will be created during the course of construction, and 40 permanent jobs are expected to be created when the buildings are complete, as early as summer 2014. Read more.


hot-rod-bettysHot Rod Betties: June 21, 2013

Hot Rod Betties, at 654 South Ave., is a unique clothing store specializing in retro-inspired clothing, shoes and accessories for the entire family as well as vintage home goods.

Owner Sarah Jane McPike is a freelance hair and makeup artist and a self-taught seamstress and designer. She previously worked in the costume shop and wardrobe department of a local theatre where she says she acquired a vast knowledge and appreciation for clothing.

Store hours are Tuesday through Thursday, noon to 6 p.m., Friday and Saturday from noon to 9 p.m., and Sundays from noon to 4 p.m. Custom design services available by appointment with Ms. McPike and alterations can be made on-site. Read more.


California Rollin' Ribbon CuttingCalifornia Rollin’ Etc.: June 17, 2013

California Rollin’ is a well-known name in Rochester. California Rollin’ first opened in 1990 at the Rochester Public market and moved to the Village Gate in 1994. A second restaurant was opened more than 10 years ago in the Port of Rochester Terminal Building. In addition to sushi, California Rollin’ Etc., located at 910 Genesee St. will also offer a variety of breakfast sandwiches and omelets on an eclectic menu that owner Tom Beaman views as an opportunity to showcase more creative recipes.

California Rollin’ Etc. received local grants from the City to help pay for the architectural planning of the restaurant. The restaurant will employ 10 full-time and 10 part-time workers, with plans to add more employees as the business grows.



brook-court-house-2Brooks Court: June 17, 2013

Brooks Court is a new neighborhood street in the 19th Ward neighborhood that will eventually hold 29 single family, owner-occupied detached homes with “city house” designs reminiscent of the Craftsman and Bungalow styles that were prevalent in the early to mid-1900s.

The location is near the Brooks Landing area, which has recently received substantial investment from the City, the University of Rochester and private investors. Brooks Court is within walking distance to the University, Strong Memorial Hospital, Genesee Valley Park and local restaurants.


On The Road Again: : June 14, 2013 on-the-road-again

Mayor Thomas S. Richards is pleased to announce that On the Road Again celebrated its grand opening in an expanded location at 428 Jefferson Ave.

Business owner Wanda Adames enjoys offering products that are affordable for families. Her store offers gently used children's items such as books, toys, clothing, shoes and furniture at marked down prices.

On the Road Again is open Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Read more.


lorrainesLorraine’s Food Factory 30th Anniversary at Patio Opening: June 13, 2013

Mayor Thomas S. Richards is pleased to announce the 30th anniversary of local catering icon Lorraine’s Food Factory. Owner Lorraine Serpe has been in business in the city since 1982, focusing primarily on catering, lunch deliveries, and now, gourmet frozen meals.

Serpe also celebrated the grand opening of a new, outdoor patio dining area that has seating for more than 30 people.

Lorraine’s, located at 777 Culver Rd., is open Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Read more.




Lexington Federal Credit Union: June 5, 2013

Originally established to serve the employees of Rochester Products in 1956, Lexington FCU received a charter expansion in 2002 to include people who live or work in Rochester.

Following the announcement that the First Niagara branch at this location was slated to be closed last spring, Council President Warren—who represents the North East District, the City’s Department of Neighborhood and Business Development, and members of the Joseph Avenue Business Association worked with the bank to find a new owner to continue providing banking services at this location. First Niagara worked extensively with management at Lexington to make the transfer happen and donated the property to Lexington FCU. The new branch, at 762 Joseph Ave. is the second location for Lexington. Read more.




Yolishous Self-Serve Frozen Yogurt Bar: May 31, 2013  

Patrons of the Yolishous Self-Serve Frozen Yogurt Bar, 647 Park Ave., can treat themselves to 18 flavors of yogurt and over 30 different toppings – from fresh seasonal fruits, sugar-free syrups, cereal, candy, nuts and full-calorie toppings – to create their own custom dessert.

Chances are there will always be a family member on site, since daughters Talia and Veronica Williams  stand in as managers. The family opened Yolishous on Park Avenue because they say, “It is one of the most exciting areas in Rochester.”

Hours: Mon. through Thurs., 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Fri. and Sat, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Sun., 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Read more.


Sawdey Way:  May 20, 2013

Mayor Thomas S. Richards joined family members of the late Virginia Sawdey and community members Monday to mark the official opening of Rochester’s newest street as “Sawdey Way” in memory of a woman whose name has become synonymous with community advocacy in Northwest Rochester.

“Virginia Sawdey was persistent and determined in her efforts to make the Edgerton Neighborhood a better place for its residents and visitors,” said Mayor Richards. “She was a role model for anyone who was willing to refuse complacency and demand action. I am honored to name this street after her to ensure the legacy of Virginia Sawdey, and all that she stood for, lives on.” Read more 


 ribbon-cut-hands Traditions Take-Out and Catering: May 30, 2013

Traditions Take-Out and Catering is open for business at 651 Jefferson Ave. Owned by Tracy and Willie Hobbs, specializes in comfort foods and Southern hospitality style catering.

The Hobbs opened Traditions because of their love of cooking and catering and hope to leave a legacy for their children and grandchildren. The menu features Tennessee Catfish, New Orleans Style Red Beans and Southern Fried Cabbage.

Traditions Take Out and Catering is open Tuesday through Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Read more


 Rincon-0509131NBD083 Rincon Criollo Restaurant: May 21, 2013

Rincon Criollo is a new eatery specializing in authentic Puerto Rican sandwiches, located at 1485 Dewey Ave.

Business owners Lucila and Eddie Matos began their culinary career working in restaurants and have always dreamed of owning their own restaurant. They are excited to bring these flavors to the Latino community.

Hours of operation at Rincon Criollo are: Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Read more.


trü salon: May 20, 2013

A new 1,200 foot luxury salon, trü salon, is now open in the Park Avenue area.  

At 603 Park Ave., owners Julie Judge, Kevin Judge and Rachel McCooey offer value added extras including scalp and shoulder massage before a haircut or a hand massage before a color.  

Hours of operation are: Tuesday through Friday 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Read more 


 eastman-commonsEastman Commons: May 1, 2013

The Eastman Commons project at 1630 Dewey Ave. received considerable City assistance and involved the conversion of an industrial laundry facility into an affordable housing and service complex for the formerly homeless, low-income working adults and individuals with special needs.

The project includes 80 affordable one-bedroom apartments and on-site services provided by Sojourner House at PathStone. Read more 



 ribbon-cut-handsEnergy on East: April 26, 2013

Energy on East is a new holistic and wellness center, located at 320 East Ave.

“Energy on East is a perfect fit for the trendy East End,” said Mayor Thomas S. Richards. “We welcome Ms. Sladden to the neighborhood and we are confident that the unique services she offers will complement this area nicely.”

Energy on East offers Reiki, Healing, Integrated Energy Therapy, Tarot & Spiritual Readings, yoga and much more. The center is open to individuals interested in achieving optimal health and balance in life – the primary goal of holistic medicine. Energy on East also offers healthy eating and cooking classes for those seeking to transform their eating habits. Classes are offered in the evenings, on weekends or by appointment. Read more


 El-Pilon-0409131CB080 El Pilon Criollo: April 24, 2013

Mayor Thomas S. Richards, Neighborhood and Business Development Commissioner R. Carlos Carballada, City Council President Lovely A. Warren and City Councilmember Jackie Ortiz joined with business owner Zury Brown for a groundbreaking ceremony for the new location of El Pilon Criollo restaurant, 973 N. Clinton Ave. North Clinton Avenue, commonly referred to as “La Avenida” or “the Avenue,” serves as the commercial corridor of the surrounding residential neighborhood.

El Pilon marks the first construction on N. Clinton Avenue in more than 12 years and is set to open in late summer, 2013. The total investment of the El Pilon Criollo project is $285,870, including a City loan in the amount of $114,000. Read more


 Leons-0311132NBD066Leon’s Quality Cuts Barber Shop: April 19, 2013

Leon’s Quality Cuts Barber Shop at 411 Chili Ave. in the city’s southwest offers professional haircuts with all the comforts of home.
“I would like to thank you for investing in our city as a business owner and I look forward to seeing your barber shop become an asset to this neighborhood,” said Mayor Thomas S. Richards. “The City of Rochester and its residents wish you the best and appreciate your commitment to improving services available in the city.”
Mr. Jones was provided with a small business grant by the City to help him open the barber shop.  The shop is open Monday through Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Read more.



carriage-factoryCarriage Factory Apartments: March 28, 2013

State, County, and City officials joined with DePaul and the Susan B. Anthony Neighborhood Association for a groundbreaking ceremony at the long-vacant Cunningham Carriage Factory, soon to be transformed into the Carriage Factory Apartments. DePaul’s $23 million redevelopment of 73,000 square-foot building at 33 Litchfield Street will create 71 rental units of supportive housing for individuals with special needs. The City provided a $600,000 loan to support this project as well as a Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) agreement.

Originally home to the Cunningham Carriage Factory and Companies, this building is one of Rochester’s oldest manufacturing plants, built in 1910 to manufacture handmade customized horse-drawn carriages. The company later produced handmade automobiles until the creation of the assembly line ultimately led to the factory’s closure. Read more.


Jackson-HewittJackson Hewitt Tax Service: Feb. 21, 2013

Business owners William Thompson and Deborah Schroeder—familiar faces in the neighborhood—opened their first Jackson Hewitt office on Thurston Road nearly 20 years ago. Now located at 669 Thurston Rd. today, William and his daughter Deborah are enjoying the greater visibility to potential clients, better access and more parking for customers at their new location.

A full-service, year-round income tax preparation company, Jackson Hewitt franchises specialize in computerized federal and state tax preparation for small business owners and individual filers.

The new office’s hours of operation are Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., year-round. Hours of operation may vary during the tax season and customers are encouraged to call 235-7420 for more information.



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