You didn't expect a tropical bar on the shores of Lake Ontario, did you?
Need a reason to explore the Rochester area tonight and also wear your cutest summer get-up? Let this very unexpected tiki bar be it. Marge’s Lakeside Inn is a beachfront tavern on Lake Ontario in Rochester, New York— and it's complete with all the kitschy-fun tropical trimmings you could ever hope for. Marge's has an old-time jukebox, live music, and very 1960s-meets-2021 tiki-style drinks that will impress your friends and make you skip the schlep to the airport.
Though technically serving patrons for over 80 years, the bar was bought by Marge Beth in 1960, and today is owned and operated by her daughter-in-law and granddaughter, Fran and Francine. It's a local institution for Rochester-area locals, and something that offers a fun change of pace for visitors from neighboring regions and far-flung destinations.
"I've been coming here for years," Dave Geoffries, 34, a Rochester local told NewsBreak. "In the summer you can sit outside and after a drink or two, you really do feel like you've escaped to some tropical island with a slushy drink. In the winter they have seats inside and the same kind of theme going, but it's just fun for a beer and meeting up with friends."
On October 1, 1960, Marge Beth, a hardworking woman with a lifetime’s experience in the bar business bought the tavern now known as Marge’s Lakeside Inn," reads the Inn's website. "Marge and her son Ron treated customers to cool cocktails and homey hospitality while Marge’s other son, Gerry, entertained patrons by playing the piano. As a family, they anchored Marge’s reputation as the best watering hole on Rochester’s waterside."
The most popular drink at Marge's, by far, is their signature Rum Runner. It comes complete with something called a "shot of pop" which is known to locals as the 100-proof cherry liqueur that was a staple for Ron Bet, the son of Marge's founder and the late husband of this local institution's current owner, Fran Beth. They've shared their treasured recipe with us so you can enjoy it at home, too.
Marge’s Rum Runner (serves two)
- Two ounces of spiced rum
- Two ounces of white rum
- One ounce banana liqueur
- One ounce of blackberry liqueur
- Two ounces sour mix
- Three ounces orange juice
- One small to medium can of pineapple juice
- Lime juice, splash to taste
- Grenadine, splash to taste
Add lots of ice, shake and add to whimsical tiki-inspired cups like these Kona Ombre Cocktail Tumblers from Tuxton Home.
But we know what you're wondering— is it even really a tiki bar without the full-on beach experience? Fear not, grasshopper, because Marge's obviously comes complete with Lake Ontario beachfront that rivals any ocean's sandy shores in the summertime.
Wear your flip-flops, go for the colorful maxi dress you never have a place to wear, spritz yourself with some tropical perfume, and make this adorable Rochester find your next unexpected date night.
Marge's Lakeside Inn is located at 4909 Culver Road in Rochester, New York, and stays open from 4 to 11 PM most nights.
Have you been to Marge's Lakeside Inn on Lake Ontario? We'd love to hear all about it in the comments section below.