Just around the corner from the Eastman School of Music, tucked into the ground floor of a nine-story building that houses apartments, restaurants and shops, is Salinger's. And although its nondescript outer appearance may not inspire love at first sight, many local barhoppers have made it their first choice for a drink. We stopped by to find out why — and what's on tap.
The place: A dark awning with plain lettering identifies Salinger's from the street, and standard neon beer signs glow in the windows. But inside, the décor is very specific. The walls, which rise to a loft ceiling, are painted a warm brick red and highlighted by areas of exposed brick. Black-and-white checkerboard floors are covered in peanut shells that make a satisfying crunch underfoot. Salinger's also is far roomier than it appears from outside; three distinct areas accommodate pool and dart players, barflies and diners.
The bar itself seats roughly 10 people, but most of the seating — at wooden high-top and dining tables and brocade-covered booths — is scattered throughout the rest of the venue.
The crowd: When we stopped in on a weeknight, the place was hopping with undergrads, young professionals and groups of middle-aged folks. With finals ending, many students appeared to be in a celebratory mood and were taking full advantage of the Eastman student discount, which gives them $1 off of any order.
Bartender Jay Thompson, who's worked at Salinger's for 10 years, says the bar also has its share of regulars who come back "because you can drink cheap and we offer good service."
And when we say 'rye,' we don't mean whiskey: Baked & Carved, a separate entity, opened a deli counter inside Salinger's in January. Lunch and light dinner items — such as sandwiches (made with house-roasted meats and from-scratch breads), soups and cookies — are available at a wooden bar that evokes an old-fashioned soda fountain. Daily offerings are scrawled on a chalkboard, and there's even a hand-cranked slicer for the deli meats.
For more information, including about hours and the menu, go to bakedandcarved.com.
Good to know
What: A casual neighborhood pub.
Where: 107 East Ave.
When: 11:30 a.m. to 2 a.m. Monday through Friday; 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. Saturday; 6 p.m. to midnight Sunday.
On tap: 22 beers. There also are 20 choices in bottles and cans. Daily specials include a rotation of $2 bottles and cans, $2.50 pints and $3 wells (well specials are not available on Friday or Saturday). Happy hour stretches from lunchtime until 7 p.m. and features $2 and $2.50 drafts and $2 off mixed drinks.
Food: Lunch and dinner at the Baked & Carved deli counter. All menu items are less than $10.
Games: Darts, pool, Big Buck Hunter.
Music: Digital jukebox, live music most Fridays and Saturdays (check the website for complete listings).
Handicapped accessible: Yes.
Parking: On-street or in the East End Garage. (The closest entrance is on Swan Street, and parking is free after 5:30 p.m. weekdays and all day weekends.)
Contact: 546-6880 or www.salingersrochester.com.