If you consider yourself in the Rochester cocktail scene, chances are you know of restaurateur, food and beverage operations manager, and designer, Chuck Cerankosky. A busy and respected businessman, Cerankosky is also known to be one of the most reliable. When he’s not working to ensure your dining experience is nothing short of impeccable, he’s influencing the core of the Rochester food and beverage industry with the next new thing, like creating and implementing the Rochester Cocktail Revival, NY’s flagship festival showcasing craft cocktail culture. To kick off Revival week, celebrating year five this April 30 – May 6, 2018, we’re featuring the cocktail mover and shaker behind it all.
Check out our interview with Chuck and see the full Rochester Cocktail Revival schedule here.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I’m a restaurateur working in Rochester, NY and father of two. I co-own the restaurants Good Luck and Cure, and direct the food and beverage operations of Radio Social and Bar Bantam. I also direct the Rochester Cocktail Revival and work as a freelance designer. I graduated in 2003 with an Industrial Design BA from RIT. I consider my design education and background integral with that of my restaurant career.
What’s your favorite part about living and working in Rochester?
I greatly appreciate the community and opportunities present here. There is a vibrant population of patrons enthusiastic for ideas and passionate for well-tuned and thoughtfully designed concepts. This makes my job immensely enjoyable.
Are you originally from Rochester? How did you find yourself in ROC at this time in your life?
I am a native a Cleveland, OH. I came to Rochester for RIT. I’m here now because I love working and living here.
What inspired you to start up Rochester Cocktail Revival? What’s your favorite part about it?
Seeing an opportunity to highlight the food and beverage culture here, and show people that the cocktail scene in Rochester is on par with that of major markets, and deserves recognition! My favorite part of the RCR is the camaraderie that all of the bars demonstrate to make the week a knockout great time for all.
After the Revival ends, where would you send an out of town guest for a great cocktail?
The Spirit Room. Or Swan Dive. Or Bar Bantam. Or The Revelry, The Daily Refresher, Cheshire, The Owl House, The Playhouse, Ox & Stone, Roux, Bitter Honey, Nagle’s Observance, Tapas, La Case, Lento, Orbs, Branca Midtown, Nox, The Cub Room, Cure or Good Luck.
What is your favorite local nonprofit organization?
I’m a huge fan of the work of Gilda’s Club Rochester, as well as the Center for Youth. These charities take a strong stance towards working to assist those in need for two very worthwhile causes, as well as maintaining active relationships with partners and events attractive to young patrons.
Do you have any other Rochester gems you’d like to share?
Swan Market. Ellison Park. Haha boring, huh?
What accomplishments are you most proud of thus far in your life?
My kids thinking I’m a cool Dad.
What’s your long-term professional goal?
Happiness and health with my wife-to-be, kids, friends, and family.
Who inspires you?
My grandfathers. Sidney Frank. Charles Eames.
What advice do you have for local young professionals and entrepreneurs?
Rochester is a blank canvas for your idea and concept. It just requires your hard work, dedication, and enthusiasm for its community of people.