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Wegmans Food Markets has opened The Food Bar in Pittsford, N.Y., at the former site of its Tastings restaurant, next to the supermarket operator’s flagship Pittsford store on Monroe Ave. The new casual-dining eatery, which seats 120, offers what the Rochester, N.Y.-based grocer calls “family-friendly American classics,” including chowders and fresh-caught seafood entrees, burgers, chicken fingers and hot dogs, with such innovative sides as zucchini fries.
Open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and providing both dine-in and takeout service, The Food Bar, which made its official debut Dec. 10, is managed by Scott Stead and showcases the cuisine of executive chef Eric Wendorff and sous chef Ryan Alexander. The restaurant features one menu all day.
Guests can either place their orders at the register counter or receive full service at the bar. Wegmans doesn’t permit tipping. Meals are served picnic-style, complete with paper baskets, paper napkins, and plastic utensils. As well as juices, milk and soft drinks, customers can choose from among the three wines on tap (a New York State Riesling, Long Island Cabernet Franc and a California White blend) and three draft brews (Labatt Blue, Labatt Blue Light and Rohrbach’s Next Door Ale).
The Food Bar additionally boasts a distinctive décor “washed in seashore colors,” noted Wegmans. “Big windows invite the sun in. Sand-colored brickwork soars over tables and the booths, upholstered in deep-ocean blue. Sky blue walls meet wood-tone floors in the colors of dry and wet sand. Curving design motifs over the counter hint at the motion of ocean waves.”
Burgers at the eatery feature Wegmans’ fresh irradiated ground beef, while the chicken fingers are made from the company’s fresh lemon-garlic marinated chicken breast. An exclusive offering at The Food Bar is Wegmans frozen custard, which was developed for the company by Akron, N.Y.-based Perry’s Ice Cream, and is a prominent ingredient in the restaurant’s milkshakes, sundaes and banana splits.
Across the street, the grocer operates another restaurant concept, Next Door Bar and Grill, which offers a “Test Kitchen” for private occasions.
Wegmans operates 77 stores in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, and Maryland.