Nicolle “burg queen” C. – we love this review! LOL!

Lovin` cup is a love child between a bar, a restaurant, and a coffee shop w/ live music!. I first discovered it freshman year… now I’m graduating soon but I’ll firmly remember lovin` cup the rest of my life… why?

This is a turn off to some people -namely, those that don’t realize that this is not just a bar, for some reason. This isn’t a place to go if you want to get wasted. This is a place where you’d bring your dad but not your grandma. Okay, grandma can come too. It’s your new favorite college “hang out” place and date night and burg joint.

My boyfriend mistakenly thought lovin` cup was a place that exclusively employed by old ladies that served soup. This is incorrect. I think they might serve some soup, though. Besides that temporary disappointment, our dates here have been suburb! It’s a great place to bring a first date or your long term, monogamous significant other. Or, as I said, your dad.

Honestly, it’s the unexpected hole-in-the-not-wall that is rare. I have never had a bad experience here. Great staff, fun entertainment, hipsterlike environment, yummy food.

And as always, the burgs here are burgtastic… seriously, the Bayou Wease (sp?) is my favorite burg. (YOU GOT IT – BAYOU WEASE!  PICTURE BELOW!)

Keep doing what you’re doing, my lovin` cup…. *



A New Spin on Beer Tastings at the Lovin’ Cup


Guest Blogger: Phil Stratigis

Taken from:

​My name is Phil Stratigis, and I’ve been working in and around the Rochester, NY beer scene for the past 6 years or so. I’m currently a bartender, server, and middle-type manager (basically I have keys and the ability to void things) at a joint called Lovin’ Cup, which serves as a combination bar, restaurant, art space, coffee shop, and music venue. Sounds stretched thin, but we make it work.

We’ve been doing monthly beer socials at this spot for as long as I can remember. Actually, that’s how I got familiarized with Lovin’ Cup in the first place: as a youth prone to debauchery and poor decision making, I went there with some friends many years ago under the supervision of plastic bottle gin. One thing lead to another, and the next morning I woke up butt naked in an empty bed with tickets to a Brew Ha Ha featuring Brewery Ommegang. Fast forward, they hire me as a manager.

Anyway, the point is that these things, as fun as they are, have gotten stale over recent years of repetition. Heading into a 10 am meeting with Ballast Point to discuss our upcoming event, I was still a bit skeptical about how to make it more interesting. (Also, 10 am to a bartender is kind of a dick punch, let alone I just got out of a 9 am meeting with some folks helping to plan my annual disc golf tournament. Shameless plug because I’m writing this for free: Ballast Point by itself sounds jazzy and cool on the surface to lots of folks, but considering their recent acquisition by Constellation Brands, a local Rochester company, every a-hole and their cousin was throwing tap takeovers with Pineapple Sculpin and Mango Even Keel. The one keg I did want, the tits-awesome Indra Kunindra (curry, cayenne, coconut stout OMFG so good) was unavailable to us at the time. Dick punch number two.

​The Sous Chef, Adam Soucy, and I had been on the tail end of a drought of culinary inspiration, and needed to shake things up a bit. To their credit, the representatives from Ballast Point were completely on board, and the ownership of our bar told us that our leashes were officially off. Then, we cracked some cans of Sculpin and got down to business. Beer tastings traditionally run along the lines of lightest to heaviest flavor profiles, roughly. So, say you’d start with a pilsner of some sort, chug along through a pale and an IPA, maybe throw in a gose if you’re following that trend, move to a porter and perhaps finish by highlighting your barrel aged whatever, all the while having some food that pairs along the same lines: appetizer thingy for light beer, entree for something with body, dessert for dark beer, ad nauseum. Boring. Tired. Cliche. After a shift and over a series of whiskeys with Adam, that’s when the real work began. We trashed the concept of linear tastings designed for rookie, adventureless palates.

“What if we made a glaze out of a porter for a lamb dish?” Yep.
​”IPA for dessert?” Done.
” Marinate a shrimp in curried pale ale? Live on stage cooking demo?”
Fame and fortune obviously await.

The night’s beer tasting lineup:

​For starters, we took some Commodore stout and turned it into a caramel. Pretty simple process, really, and something we had done before with red ale: take some beer, use it to caramelize a bunch of sugar, then add cream and butter at an expertly timed moment. Boom, caramel. We then tossed that with some of the finest quality Wegman’s instant microwave popcorn to make beer caramel corn. It is, in fact, as tasty as it sounds.

1) Grunion Pale Ale and curry marinated shrimp with grilled watermelon over arugula salad with Greek yogurt dressing, paired with Grunion Pale Ale (duh). I had worked with grilled watermelon and balsamic reduction as a summertime salad. The curry was a an idea ripped off of Ballast Point’s pairing notes for the beer. We meant to add some crumbled goat cheese, but were in a hurry, and had to prioritize drinking motivational barley sodas out of inconspicuous paper coffee cups.

​2) Mango Even Keel (I know I already mentioned everyone in town already had this, but bear with me.) Even Keel is their session IPA, so for this version they threw some mangoes into the brewing process.

3) Habanero Sculpin. As the name suggests, spicy. Like noticeably spicy, with like Scoville units.

3.5) Habanero Mango IPA. This was another result of a long shift followed by likewise long pours of whiskey. We mixed the above two beers (3 parts Mango, 1 part Habanero) to make a Frankenbeer version highlighting the attributes of both. It was fantastic, and got a great reception from the crowd.

4) Victory Peppermint at Sea. This is where we officially flipped the bird to tradition with regards to tasting progress and pairings. We got the idea to use this beer, an imperial porter infused with peppermint, to make a glaze for lamb, with the inspiration roughly being lamb with mint jelly. At first, we simply cooked down the beer to see what the reduction would be like. Pro Tip: don’t do that, as it tastes like bitter $hit. Instead, we turned the beer into a teriyaki sort of glaze, grilled some Frenched lamb chops, dipped them in said sauce, and put those atop mashed potatoes made with star anise infused butter. As a completed product, all the flavors played extremely well together – the mint and darkness of the beer worked with the earthy, gamey nature of the lamb, and the entire dish was mellowed and kept in check by the spuds.

5) Regular old Sculpin IPA. This was basically serving as a tool to reorient the palate back to familiar territory, since we just blew some domes off with that last pairing.

6) Ginger Big Eye IPA, made into a whipped cream, on top of spiced cheesecake. This is where the on stage demo happened. Using an isi nitrogen whipped cream charger, we combined the beer, confectioners sugar, egg white, lemon, ginger, and cream. Shaking the hell out of it and blasting it with nitrogen turned it into an instant whipped cream, which we placed on top of cheesecake squares spiced with nuts and mulling spices. I only had one instance of pre-pubescent uncontrollable cream ejaculation as a result of the pressurized charger, but at this point I had a few samples in me and didn’t much care. The crowd enjoyed it, regardless.

​All in all, the crowd response to the entire event, especially the switch around of established tasting order and pairings, was exceptionally positive. Standard beer tastings usually go from light to dark. Screw that! We threw in a porter-glazed lamb entree and finished with a whipped cream made from a ginger IPA. All was tasty. My only regret is not getting more pictures when the beers started flowing. It happens.

15 Things in Rochester to Eat Before You Die – and we are one of them!

We have lots of fun menu items – all named after music.  What’s your personal favorite?  For many it is our Hot for Teacher Chicken Pesto Panini, which has become our signature and much-loved menu item, outselling everything else by at least double.   That’s followed closely by our delicious burgers, which are a perfect beef mixture created just for us locally.  How you like your burger is up to you – we have many options, that’s for sure!

But probably a best-kept secret and favorite amongst our crew members is our Santeria panini – which is our take on a cuban sandwich.  We start with locally-made Baker’s Street foccacia and pack it with house-roasted pork loin, ham, cheese, pickles and homemade golden BBQ sauce and grill it up to perfection on our panini press.  (I personally like to get a little of that sauce on the side for dipping – delish).  It looks like our friend, Rebecca Block from U of R agreed with  us about this special sammich, naming it one  of the “15 Things in Rochester to Eat Before you Die.”  We were a stand out amongst some of our other favorite local creations!  Read about them here:

Lovin’cup Catering! We rock!

You’ve likely come into our establishment for lunch, live music, or even dinner and a few drinks…but do you know that we can come to you?  Lovin’cup caters!  We are your perfect choice for off-site meetings, picnics, or even a low-key dinner or lunch!   We take care of everything so that you can focus on the things you should be focusing on – your meeting or your guests!   People who utilize our catering service absolutely love it!    A recent testemonial:

Hello Leslie,

I wanted to share some feedback on an order we received today—as well as now several months’ worth of catering and take out from Lovin’ Cup.  We absolutely love the catering service you provide; the food is phenomenal, always fresh, delicious and delivered on time.  When we are in all day meetings and work to a tight agenda with a scheduled lunch break, we can always count on Lovin’ Cup to be delivered on time.  We love the added touch of plates, napkins and forks also—it makes it so easy for us to roll out a quick set up.

We have worked with many local restaurants over the years and I must say I have been most impressed with Lovin’ Cup’s food and service.  Historically, we have had late orders, poor tasting or missing food items causing us unnecessary headaches.  You continue to be consistently on time and zero mistakes with orders.  Our staff, and our guests are always raving about the food choices.

After another successful lunch today, I felt compelled to say thank you for your excellent service!  We look forward to more Lovin’ Cup in our future.

 Jill Bonnell –  Operations Manager – Swagelok Western New York

Let us cater your next event!

Call us at 585.292.9940 or even use our new online ordering system – now it’s even easier to get your order in!  Check it out!




Stolt Stock


On May 16th, 2015 our employee and great friend Gabriel Stolt unexpectedly passed away.

He left behind his wife Adriana and their unborn baby Gianna.
Gabe worked as a daytime server with Lovin’ Cup for the last two years.
He always did anything and everything asked of him, and would volunteer his help for anyone.
He was a great friend and team member.

On Saturday, September 19th at 4pm, we are holding our first ever STOLT STOCK here at Lovin’ Cup.
This event will include a silent auction, strength competitions, raffles, arm wrestling and live music ALL DAY.
Come on down to Lovin’ Cup and show your support for such a beautiful person who left such a lovely family behind.

Live music will begin at 6pm
Bands Include:
Fox 45, Saints and Winos, Infrared Radiation Orchestra, Big Ditch, Pink Elephant, and House Majority

Lovin’ Cup Idol Season VI

Top 8 Graphic


The last year has gone by so quickly for us over here at Lovin’ Cup! I feel as though just yesterday I was writing a review of the finale of Season V of Lovin’ Cup Idol and here we are into the Top 8 of Season 6!  This season has brought in some amazing talent that has made the show a remarkable experience.  This year we have introduced some new and exciting things when it comes to the blog and social media!  This year instead of a traditional blog, we have started a video log that tracks the competition and gives a fast paced review of events! To keep it simple for everyone though we post on our youtube channel and the traditional blog:!  Through this video log we have been able to video advertisements for businesses as well as make an advertisement for Lovin’ Cup!

Idol has been getting bigger and better every year and we are so excited to be continuing on with our 6th season.  All of the contestants have shown how much talent there still is in Rochester! We are excited to watch the Top 8 grow and compete throughout the rest of the season! Come out on Monday nights to see what all the hype is about and check out our Happenings page to see the different types of musical genres that the contestants will have to sing!


Stephanie Burtch, The Idolist

Wine in a Can?

Wine in a Can, a Keg, a Carton…and It’s Not Bad

By: Bryn Watson (our new lovin’cup intern!!!)

Jordan Kivelstadt was working on a wine bottling line in California in 2008 when things didn’t go well. “I had a bad bottling day and I sulked back into the winery and kicked the keg we stored some of the wine in. Then I realized: why can’t I sell wine in this?”

So he did. Apparently glass bottles are facing some serious competition on the wine shelves.

Kivelstadt launched Free Flow Wines in 2009 as a wine-in-a-keg producer. They put all their wine in kegs. The company is now working with more than 200 brands to put their products in kegs to distribute in restaurants. There are more than 80,000 kegs floating around the country with the majority of wines selling for $8-$15 and climbing even to $20.

Some people say that wine should be kept in a bottle because it helps it age properly. But according to the fine “wine-r” Kevin Zraly, founder of the Windows on the World Wine School, 90% of wine is supposed to be consumed within one year. Therefore, wine can totally be put in something other than glass and still be great wine.

It is important to know that this wine is not like your grandmother’s boxed wine. It’s quality blends that won’t make your head spin within the first few sips.

Canned wine? Pouched wine? Paper bottles of wine? (Oh my!!) It’s happening. Andrew Streeter, a specialist on consumer packaging, says “The structural presentation of wine is changing..”

I personally think that wine is going in an awesome and portable new route. Who wouldn’t want to carry a can of wine around in their purse for an emergency drink? I know I would!!

Our new 360º Cam!

You may have been perusing our website recently and noticed a new little icon to the left, called the 360º cam! It gives you the ‘real deal feel’ of being a part of Lovin’cup! If you have ever thought about attending one of our wonderful events there, you can get that vibe! If you have ever thought about hosting a private event, such as a bridal or baby shower, an engagement party, or even a rehearsal dinner, you can get a feel for our main space and our side room “The Green Room” as well!

When clicking through some of the amazing 360º Walkthrough pics, you can also see some pictures of one of our summer festivals – the Hometown Throwdown, as well as the start and finish to our Rochester Real Beer 5K race, which has grown bigger and bigger each year!

Take a look for yourself in our pictures online! Pretty cool stuff!


A Follow-Up With Our Idol Stars!

As some amazing events come-up we thought we would give you our Lovin’ Cup Idol blogger’s finale review and a little bit of info on what our Idols are up to now!

Lovin’ Cup Idol Blogger ,Stephanie’s Review of our Idol Finale

As I am cleaning out my computer today I was reminded that I sadly dropped the ball and forgot to officially post our winner! I always get so wrapped up in the ending and the excitement of the winner being announced that I forget it needs to be officially published!


Your Lovin’ Cup Idol 2014 Official Winner is….

Liam Enright


It was a fair fight and it got down to the very last song where the contestants bared all and gave it everything they had.  Both Jonathan Stills and Liam Enright did so amazingly and grew exponentially throughout the whole competition. I don’t think we could have asked for two nicer contestants to go against each other! Both of them seemed grateful to work with out phenomenal Lovin’ Cup Idol All Star Band and to perform in front of none other than Brother Wease! 





The finale brought all sorts of other fun performances as well! Some of the contestants this year sang a beautiful Rock Medley of some of my personal favorite songs, as well as a wonderful rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody. 



The ladies of Lovin’ Cup Idol definitely had the Red Carpet Treatment for the finale as well! We had Panache Consignment & Vintage come out and style us and Gallery Salon Spa took charge of our hair and make-up.  These two amazing sponsors helped us to look dressed to impress as we donned the Red Carpet! 


The fantastic Step & Repeat behind us was made by our printing sponsor Catprint, who also came out every week and supported at their very own table! After all the Red Carpet fun and the medleys the competition began. The annual coin toss had Liam getting to pick who went first. Jonathan Stills ended up starting the night and both him and Liam alternated through three songs to show the judges who deserved to win the most. Before they performed though we had an amazing interview video with each contestant done by Top Shelf Productions. They were even interviewed by the fabulous Megan Carter.  You can find links to the video here:


With Liam’s big win came a lot of amazing prizes! He won free recording time with Sam Polizzi, $500, Gift Cards from Barnes & Noble, Rochester Brainery, Gallery Salon & Spa and more! If you want to see Liam perform again he will be at Lovin’ Cup with his band The Bleechers on May 2, and also on May 22 with former Idol Logan Van Epps and his band So Last Year.


Also one more big Thank You to Aaron Winters for all of his beautiful photos! I would not have been able to run the blog so smoothly without him! His photography is something special and he has documented Idol this year fantastically!

Until Next Year




What are our Idols up to now:

Our winner Liam Enright has kept himself rather busy! On May 2nd he performed an amazing show with his band The Bleechers on the Lovin’ Cup Stage. On May 16 he will be performing at 4:00 at Rochester’s Annual Lilac Festival backed by our amazing Lovin’ Cup All Star Band! On May 22 he will be at the Bug Jar performing once again with his band The Bleechers and opening up for past idol Logan Van Epp’s band So Last Year! A busy man indeed! We are so excited to see where his talent takes him!

Jonathan Stills has been working his tail off as well to help a cause dear to his heart: music education in public schools!  He will be hosting and performing at an event to raise money for the Honeoye Falls- Lima music program boosters club!  He will also have the Lovin’ Cup All Star Band behind him during his event! This will take place on Friday May 9, from 6-8:30 at Honeyoe Falls-Lima High School! You can purchase tickets the night of for $8.00!


We are so proud of all that our two finalists are doing with their music and we are so happy to help them out with their future endeavors!

Way to go Don! we’re on a roll here!


A fixture and well-known smiling face at Lovin’cup, my mother got a really nice message about The Don Alcott!  Here’s only one example of why he rocks!

Hi Mrs. Zinck!

I was just at Lovin Cup and had the best service. Well…I always get good service there, but this was exceptional and just made my day. I thought you might be able to pass the message along to your daughter on how wonderful Don the manager was. I had a perfectly nice dinner with my mom when Don came by to check if we enjoyed everything. I said that we had, and he particularly asked how I liked my soup. I told him it actually wasn’t my first choice, but they had run out of the cheddar brocolli. However the tomato was still delicious. He then proceeded to come back to our table with a cup of the cheddar brocolli to-go for me! It was so thoughtful and like I said it really made my night. The restaurant is so great, good consistent food and great service. Just thought you could pass the message along on how great don was. I hope your doing well! Take care

Emma Swiader

Thanks, Don for all you give to the cup!  And for being part of it from the start!!!