Mr. B’s in Downtown Rochester is Closing

Goodbye to Mr. B’s

foyer sign

Welcome to Mr. B’s Food & Spirits

UPDATED: Mr. B’s Food & Spirits in Downtown Rochester closed on Saturday, January 5, after being in business for more than 40 years. While the area now has several “Mr. B’s,” the Rochester location is the original, opened in 1976 by Michael Nash and Marty Tuchman.

Packed bar on the last day of Mr. B’s

The other Mr. B’s – Royal Oak, Shelby Twp., and Clarkston – will remain open as they have each have different owners.

Customers from decades past, came to say goodbye to Mr. B’s

The news broke last weekend on Facebook. A post on the 24th Street Sports Tavern in Oxford announced the purchase of Mr. B’s – in Rochester – the community was shocked.

Viktor Palushaj and L.J. Hurley on the last day of Mr. B’s

Viktor Palushaj, owner of the Oxford tavern, purchased a majority stake in Mr. B’s from L.J. Hurley. Details of the agreement were not disclosed. Palushaj is also the owner of the Old Detroit Burger Bar franchise. A mutual friend of Hurley and Palushaj connected them and the deal had been in the works for three months.

Last Big, Bright Light Show for Mr. B’s in Downtown Rochester

Palushaj told Rochester Media that renovations will begin immediately and the location will reopen in March, “hopefully for St. Patrick’s Day,” to be called City Tavern Kitchen and Bar. $750,000 is the planned investment on the renovation, which plans to keep the basic layout of the bar. Palushaj plans to keep the current employees and hire more.

Marty Tuchman, one of the original owners of Mr. B’s, offered one last toast to the 40-year-old business he helped start

Decades of customers came out their last weekend to pay respects for the iconic landmark in Downtown Rochester. Past, current, and future owners, as well as past and current employees and customers had one more “Slop Burger,” pizza, or favorite drink from the very busy bar.

Please share your memories of the signature Rochester restaurant in the comments.

All photos by Michael Dwyer

About Michael Dwyer

Michael Dwyer is a freelance content provider. Michael writes about happenings in the Rochester area, travels across Michigan and destinations around the world. Contact him at michael@rochestermedia.com.

Comments

  1. It’s a shame. Saturday will be the biggest day theyve had in years. 40 years of memories a once thriving business in the city bites the dust. Everyone there on Saturday reliving the memories and pained by the demize for this Rochester institution should ask themselves what is happening to Rochester. In recient years no sane person would go to a Downtown drinking establishment for fear of sneezing behind the wheel on your way home and ending up in the court system. Add to that there are new shiney bars off the downtown strip that attract those younger drinkers that don’t want to run the gauntlet of the Rochester PD. Soon there will be nowhere in town that one can take their children or grandchildren and say this is where we use to go with our family and make memories. There are so many businesses that have left Rochester for greener pastures or failed. Who will be next? Possibly Knapps, Lipumas? B’s is just the latest to go and another nail in the coffin of what use to be referred to as America’s hometown.

    • Hey Mark – I was looking more for memories rather than opinion, but it’s good to ask questions too. Just not sure the answers will be quick or positive. What are the “new shiny bars off the downtown strip” you’re referring to?

  2. Molly Burr says:

    It makes me sad to see B’s go. It was a big part of the Rochester I grew up with. I remember when B’s didn’t have the front windows and it was such a dark place inside. I was just a kid hanging out at my Dad’s store (Burr’s Bootery) and sometimes I’d get a “job” to do. I was to walk there asking if they could break a bill for us. I was maybe 7/8 years old, I could barely open the heavy front door. I want to say there were 2 doors then that you had to go through. I would get up and kneel on the bar stool and ask if they could break a bill or get quarters or whatever it was I had to get at the time. =)

    The seasoned fries were my brothers favorite!

    • Jerry Falkner says:

      Burr’s Bootery … wow blast from the past … Hills theater $1 movie night with the one flashing red light at University and Main when the show got out … D&C … Cunningham’s … loved B bar and was a regular with my kids up until the end … Went to school with your sister Paula and I think my brother graduated with you … hope all is well … North Hill sub … things sure have changed … My parents are still there on Terry.

  3. Ron Reibling says:

    Is this where everyone from the North Hill sub is reuniting? Molly, say hi to Dan. Jerry, tell Jason and the family hello. Miss the days of riding the BMX bikes around the neighborhood with you all.

  4. Great to hear that they are keeping the Mr. B’s employees. Hope that is correct. Regretfully, the expected opening date was not.

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