Last call at Syler's/ Break Room
As the holiday weekend kicks off with burgers on the grill, it is the finale for one Rochester bar and grill.
Today is the last day of business for Syler's Tavern, formerly known as The Break Room, at 1635 U.S. 52 N. When the doors close tonight, that's it.
"We did have a good run," says owner Troy Wing ruefully on Friday. "Unfortunately, when you look at things from a financial perspective and they don't look good, you've got to make some tough decisions. That's the position we're in right now."
A team of 17 people work at Syler's.
Wing originally opened The Break Room in 2004. That building had housed two short-lived businesses in quick succession in the two years prior.
The Break Room became known as a laid-back bar that often offered live music. It is where the always sold-out Americana Showcase began before it outgrew the venue and moved to the Rochester Civic Theater.
However, the abundance of similar night spots in Rochester made it difficult in recent years, so Wing decided to try a new approach.
In January, he revamped The Break Room and re-named it as Syler's Tavern. He expanded its menu to make it more welcoming to people looking for a full meal as well as a drink.
As part of that approach, he tried to get a permit for a patio. His request was denied at first, but the Rochester City Council reversed that decision and gave Syler's a green light at its most recent meeting on Tuesday.
Wing, who testified at Tuesday's meeting, says it wasn't the patio dispute that caused him to pull the plug on Syler's.
In the end, it was simply not enough money was coming in the door.
"We tried moving 'up market,' but the rate of expansion here is incredible," he says. "Every time something new opens, there's a little less of the pie for the rest of us to eat."