Acme Bar & Pizza

Monroe Avenue in downtown Rochester, NY, is neither the picture of urban decay, nor urban renewal. If you’re a beer geek, you might be tempted to simply walk right by the Acme Bar & Pizza sign. The exterior decor looks more like a carpeting or paint supplies store than a bar, let alone one you’d want to spend an afternoon in.

And yet this past weekend, it became an entirely acceptable place to watch a few college basketball games and have some excellent beer.

Acme Bar & Pizza

The inside of the bar on an early Saturday afternoon looks vaguely townie-ish. To the left of the entrance, the bar, behind which you’ll find enough flat screens to find at least one sporting contest you can put money on. Straight ahead, toward the back, a pool table. And high-top tables and booths throughout.

There is plenty of neon and beer swag covering the walls. The vibe is slightly dark, not unlike the kind of place a 1980s TV cop might go on his way to finding a snitch to lead him to an elusive kingpin. The bar this day was nearly full, until two spots opened up where my little brother and I could saddle up.

The draw of Acme is their two-for-one special on select bottles, from open until 7pm (in the right-hand side cooler at least). And the two-fers are not just on Batty Blues, PBRs and Miller High Life. For example, Li’l Mikey and I split two bottles of Dogfish Head Chicory Stout. There plenty of acceptable two-for-one offerings, such as Ellicottville’s E’Vil, Dale’s Pale, Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye, and that’s just one of the coolers.

At the next cooler (the one on the left), the two-for-one deal doesn’t apply, but it offers several more high-falutin’ offers, such as the disappointing Evil Twin Hipster Ale, and the dank Westbrook IPA. Oh, and I forgot to mention that Acme also has outstanding taps: we got pints of Bells HopSlam and Ballast Point Sculpin, both for just $5.50 a piece.

The bar picked up quickly, and somehow the overworked barkeep kept up with everything and was able to take both food and drink orders with very little help. I didn’t get her name but she’s an underpaid dynamo. We each got two mammoth slices of pepperoni pizza, which was way too much food (not that I’m complaining).

Some friendly gents at the bar made some brief conversation, and there was a positive vibe despite the more raucous late-afternoon crowd. Although I don’t live in the area anymore, I will make this a pit-stop any time I’m downtown and thirsty.

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~ by William H on February 18, 2014.

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