By the end of the day today, Rochester's downtown will have lost some of its flavor.
That's because what may be its most unique nightlife venue, Radloff's Cigar Shop and On the Rox Lounge, will close its doors for good.
Boasting a richly appointed smoking room and exclusive members-only Radler's Den lounge, Radloff's Cigar Shop & On The Rox Lounge was more a club than a bar, its patrons possessing a singleness of purpose, namely the enjoyment of paring a good microbrew or single malt with that perfect stogie.
On the Rox Lounge's bourbon selection was second to none, with regulars like Maker's and Knob Creek, but also some interesting choices like Angel's Envy and Booker's Small Batch.
Scotches included Macallan, 12 years old; and 16-year-aged Lagavulin.
Radloff's was also known for its nighttime games like Family Feud and Jeopardy as well as their regular live entertainment.
Musicians who played at the On the Rox Lounge said they will also miss the unique venue, including Dvin Berry.
"Like many others, I will miss Radloff's Cigar Bar on The Rox Lounge immensely. For the last decade it has served as the perfect spot to put back a few drinks, smoke a cigar, and chat with my friends," he told Rochester Voice music columnist CC Bissett. "I've never had a crowd so interactive and engaged while I play music as I've had here at the Rox. Above all, I will miss Dawn, Jamie, and all the incredible staff. I wish them all the best of luck on the future endeavors."
Politicians have also stopped by from time to time, including former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown when he made a stop to endorse Fred Leonard for Rochester mayor in 2013.
Republican Matt Mowers, who is looking to unseat Chris Pappas in New Hampshire's 1st Congressional District, has also been into Radloff's.
Even On the Rox owner Jamie Radloff took a try at a City Council seat last year, but his bid fell short by just 20 votes.
|I'M JUST SITTING HERE WATCHING THE WHEELS GO ROUND AND ROUND: Had to stop by one last time for one last smoke. (Courtesy photo)|
In a 2013 story in the former Lebanon Voice published during Laconia Bike Week one biker summed up the allure of what was a downtown icon.
"We're just having a smoke and enjoying the view," said motorcyclist Rick Flynn, of Saco, Maine, as he relaxed at a window table with a buddy. "This is better than Laconia."
So if you want to stop in for a final whiff, today's the day to do it.
Personally, when I heard Radloff's was closing I was in shock and disbelief, knowing they had such a loyal following.
They will be missed, and that ain't blowing smoke.