F.L.X. Wienery, a popular Finger Lakes eatery on the Seneca Lake wine trail, will be opening a second location this spring inside Roc Brewing Co., on Rochester’s Union Street.
F.L.X. Wienery is one of several restaurants operated by Master Sommelier Christopher Bates and his wife and partner, Isabel Bogadtke. Their F.L.X. Hospitality Group also operates F.L.X. Table, a fine-dining restaurant, and F.L.X. Frybird, on Linden Street in Geneva. The wienery, though, was their first restaurant, opening in 2014 and specializing in hot dogs, hamburgers, sausages, and French fries along with a sophisticated wine and beer list.
Chris Spinelli, owner of Roc Brewing, told local foodie radio host Michael Warren Thomas on Wednesday that the joint venture came about when Roc Brewing decided about eight months ago to expand its tap room to include a restaurant.
When the brewery opened in 2011, it was the only taproom in the downtown area, Spinelli said. But with a growing number of craft breweries, Roc Brewing Co. , at 55 S. Union St., needed to find a new way to stand out.
“We are looking at opening a restaurant and we know nothing about it,” Spinelli said he told the F.L.X. group. In November, the brewery hosted a pop-up version of F.L.X. Wienery, to see how the concept would go over. “People loved it. We were packed,” Spinelli said.
Spinelli said the brewery is taking over the building on Union Street that it partly occupies now. He hopes to open the restaurant and new tap room in April and then close the current taproom for renovation, opening and joining the two spaces in June.
The joint venture is just one of several expansions for the F.L.X. group. It plans to move its fried chicken restaurant down the block in Geneva later this month and also plans to open a new restaurant in Corning in the spring.
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