UPDATE (7/13):

Developers tell News 8 The Toast Factory will celebrate a grand opening on July 22 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.


ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — A new restaurant is coming to the Culver-Merchants area in Rochester:

A breakfast and brunch joint — with an event space — called The Toast Factory at 1322 Culver Road. They’re looking to open by the end of the month. Once they open, The Toast Factory is aiming to be open seven days a week, 7 a.m. – 3 p.m.

News 8 got a sneak peak today to learn how head chef Keith Brown II went from pop-up to a permanent place.

Brown began journey in earnest during the pandemic, needing a change from his factory job.

“What I can I do with my eyes closed,” he recalled musing, wanting to get away from the 11-hour days. “And I looked up, and I said ‘I could cook French toast.'”

Brown learned the craft, the history of French toast. He took that knowledge to his neighborhood pop-ups, and soon, they began popping off.

“I would go out, and it became more intimate, so I was making my bread, my toppings, everything about this dish I was making,” he said. “It became more intimate and personal, I think personally you could feel it in the food.”

He began looking for a permanent place, to capture that love in every bite.

“Did we pick this location or did this location pick us?,” he said. Brown recalls him and his cousin and business partner Rashed Owens looking at this Culver Rd. location first. But many later, this was the only one with the right fit. “The neighborhood picked us.”

Brown says the neighborhood has been warm and welcoming. He’s able to name what people live in the houses across the street, and even the names of their dogs.

With a new grocery store now open next door, Provisions @jensArtisan, the Culver-Merchants area is primed for more.

Keith Brown, The Toast Factory

The Toast Factory is a contemporary but cozy space; with a faux fireplace, warm colors, and knickknacks harkening back to Brown’s and Rochester’s history with factories.

As for the menu, Brown says its all fresh and from scratch. He’ll sell his signature French toast with combo meals, and breakfast staples like eggs and sandwiches. The Toast Factory even has their own brand of coffee — the beans are also available in bags for home use — and alcoholic drinks.

Items will be dine-in or takeout; and Brown says he would be open to more bookings.

With its atmosphere, indoor and outdoor seating, and event space in back, Brown says this is a place for everybody.

The event space in back is run by Owens. In back, it can be used for private events, conferences and more. Brown and Owens are looking to run regular movie nights and live music there.

A monthly date night is another event on the docket for Brown. He will even start a weekly book club, with a fitting first selection for an entrepreneur.

“(It’s) going to be ‘The Secret’ by Rhonda Byrne,” he said, saying the book is about the law of attraction. “There’s three things that go off: thoughts become things, faith, and action.”