ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Cheshire in the south wedge of Rochester was known as a local favorite.
“It was classic cocktails, and that was it,” said Evvy Fanning, proprietor of Cheshire. “All top shelf, fresh-squeezed, all highest quality.
“I always wanted exactly that bar,” she continued. “I think it comes from way back when I was a kid, and I lived with my grandparents and they would host these beautiful cocktail parties, and everything was crystal and marble and sparkly and shiny. And I would get to carry the tray. I think that’s what I’m trying to recreate, not deliberately, but the more I look at it, the more I remember those.”
The dedication to quality paid off; Cheshire was recognized in 2019 by David Wondrich at the Daily Beast as one of his favorite in the world.
But they closed in August of 2022 when the lease was up.
“So we looked for a space that was in the same neighborhood,” Fanning said. “we wanted to stay in this community, we want to keep the same customers, we want to see the same people.”
They found a new space at 695 S. Clinton Ave. It doubles their old square footage, though it had been a lot of different businesses.
“We tore it down to bare bones, there were three layers of tile on the wood, there were at least a couple layers of concrete, drywall, anything you can imagine on the walls,” she said.
They spent three months on the demo alone. Fanning says all the old bartenders have been working on the space.
“All of us who work here, do it for love,” she said. “Most of us work one night a week, we have day jobs, and this just something we want in our lives.”
Not to mention volunteers, donations, and help from other local businesses:
“Guys from (Fresh Construction + Building) came in and did some magical things,” she said.
Soon, this newly hand-crafted space will serve the same hand-crafted cocktails
“It feels like Cheshire to me,” she said. “When the furniture came out, and we sat at the bar, it felt right. I miss our guests, and I miss being behind the bar, and we cannot wait to have it all back. If you walked out of Cheshire in August, you were welcome to walk right back in. Like nothing’s changed.”
Cheshire hopes to open at 695 S. Clinton by the end of the month.