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“The Dirty Secret of MacGregors” 2 of 5 stars
Review of MacGregors' Grill & Tap Room

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MacGregors' Grill & Tap Room
300 Jefferson Rd, Rochester, NY 14623
(585) 427-8410
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Ranked #415 of 1,055 Restaurants in Rochester
Price range: $5 - $15
Cuisines: American, Pub
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Restaurant details
Good for: Bar scene
Dining options: Late Night, Dinner, Reservations, Waitstaff
Rochester, New York
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“The Dirty Secret of MacGregors”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 11, 2012

MacGregor's was, at one time, the standard for beer selection in Rochester. To some extent, it still is. But as the beer culture changes in Rochester and pretty much everywhere, sadly Macgregor's flexes its muscles unfairly, leaving it behind much better places within the area.

It's main selling point is actually turning out to be it's Achilles Heel. They boast their beer selection as the finest in the area and, to a certain extent, it is. For the sheer number of craft beers on tap at any location, it's impressive. But it's beer lovers who demand these brands and as the number of beer fans has exponentially grown due to the renaissance of beer in the area, one glaring question comes to mind: where are the Rochester craft beers?

The answer is, for the most part, it's not there. It's not for a lack of trying. In talking to several brewers, the problem is that because MacGregor's sees itself as the de facto standard for craft beer, they undercut all local area brewers, demanding unreasonable prices of beer that would reduce and, in some cases, erase the small profit margins that they get off these kegs.

Let me give you an example. Brand X wants to sell a craft keg to MacGregors for $150. The profit on that keg might be anywhere around $50. If there's distributor fees, that price is going to be much lower. MacGregor's says, nope: we're Macgregors. We want that keg for 120 or you don't get it in our place, you don't get the traffic. So Brand X, try to survive, makes a whopping $20 a keg off the beer. Macgregor's then turns around and sells that keg for $5 a pint. 124 pints later, they've just made $470 off that keg of beer. Now granted, that keg could sit. But given the high visibility of Rochester beers in the market, realistically its going to sell on par with the rest of top craft brands. $470 for MacGregor's vs, $20 for Brand X.

And it's because MacGregor's thinks their the only game in town. That's fine. Take someone like Sticky Lips, with two locations and a huge, successful commitment to doing business with Rochester beer, and I'm sure they'll encourage MacGregor's to keep up that business model. Because not only are restaurants taking business away from MacGregor's, but beer bars like Tap and Mallet, Acme, Donnelly's Lovin' Cup, are eating into that flaw in their logic. And doing so with great success. Meanwhile, MacGregor's simply hosts the same beers you can get at any other bars, just in greater measure.

To the point that MacGregor's will just be one-stop shopping for the neophyte beer drinker. As the public learns more about and demands more, this is surely a losing position. At the very least, it's a snub on the local people, their culture, their business that even afforded them the opportunity to be as successful as they are.

  • Visited September 2011
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
Thank Andre B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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76 reviews from our community

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1 review
“Good times, good people. Henrietta location”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2012 via mobile

I visit this bar usually once a week. Great beer choices, very reasonable prices and what a great staff. Don the bartender, and Jared the bar manager are great group of guys; in-fact when I visited this place last night,July 25th, Jared recognized me and immediately cleaned up the corner of the bar so I can sit down at my usual spot.
Also, the new bartender, Holly seems to be a great addition to the staff. All and all, this location seems to be headed in the right direction. Keep up the good work!

    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Thank xt34u
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
29 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Terrible Service, and they don't care”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2012

3 of us recently went to the East Ave. location for a late lunch and the place was empty, with only another group outside on the sidewalk patio.

When the 3 orders came, 2 were correct, and 1 was totally wrong. A simple california style chicken sandwich with side salad came with the wrong sandwich and with chips instead of salad. After a long wait, the order came again .... and wrong again. A different server came over to correct it, then came back again to verify the order, and it finally came .... correctly. By then the other 2 of us had finished our meals.

There was no offer of free meal, or price reduction, or voucher for another day .... nothing. Which was the amount of tip we left.

Our first 2 sandwiches and fries were good, but the whole experience was terrible.

  • Visited July 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
Thank EugeZ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rochester, New York, United States
Level Contributor
23 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Excellent atmosphere”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 7, 2012

I usually go to the Gates McGregors, which has less selection of beer than the Henrietta McGregors, but has a much stronger pub style atmosphere to it. Being right next to the tracks is a plus as well, since I find it relaxing to watch trains going by while I eat or drink. Being an old railroad stop adds to the atmosphere even more, and the staff is very good and attentive as well.

Visited June 2012
Thank Tim E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rochester, New York
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Empire location is HORRENDOUS!”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 6, 2012

My family went to MacGregor's on Empire Blvd on a Friday afternoon. The restaurant is looking tired and dirty. Service was SUPER slow. We waited 30 mins for 6 buffalo wings, and another 20 mins for our SALADS and a microwaved kids mac & cheese. Our drinks were empty for a while before anyone noticed. The croutons were prehistoric and the "ground beef" on the taco salad looked like dog food. The mac & cheese came with a packaged cookie which also shows the lack of effort from the kitchen. Overall this was a horrendous experience in every way, we will not be going back again.

  • Visited July 2012
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Food
Thank ROCfoodie14580
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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