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Grinnell’s Restaurant ends a 60+ year tradition in Brighton

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Grinnell’s Restaurant ends a 60+ year tradition in Brighton

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A well-known local restaurant has closed its doors after being in business for decades.

Grinnell’s closed its doors after a nostalgic last day on Sunday. The eatery on Monroe Avenue in Brighton was established more than 60 years ago by brothers Fred and Al Grinnell.

It’s been in the family all that time, including current owner and cousin of the founders, David Grinnell, who worked with his son, Matt, who was the general manager.

Matt Grinnell said the closing of the restaurant is bittersweet; he appreciates the fact Grinnell’s has been around so long in a business not always known for its longevity, but he said that it was time to end this era.

His father has had some health challenges, and Matt Grinnell said that the COVID-19 pandemic obviously had a big impact on many restaurants.

“It’s a really special thing to be able to be a part of, and because we’ve been around so long and our customers have been so loyal, we’ve interwoven our business and their lives, it’s a unique honor and I don’t think that many places in the city of Rochester can lay claim to such a unique experience,” said Grinnell.

 Longtime bartender Chris Barry, on the final night at Grinnell's Restaurant in Brighton, 7/23/23.

Longtime bartender Chris Barry, on the final night at Grinnell’s Restaurant in Brighton, 7/23/23.

Matt Grinnell added that their restaurant, “is not just a place or a business, Grinnell’s is people.”

He said that Grinnell’s is “the last link to an earlier era that was focused on people first, business second. Yeah, if we make some money in the process, don’t get me wrong, we’re more than happy to do that, but it’s about putting people first.”

Similar sentiments were expressed by Brighton Town Supervisor Bill Moehle, who said that “60-plus years is a remarkable thing, and it started at the front door…when you walked in, the owner was there, they greeted you, they often knew your name, and you knew you were walking into a place where they cared about the food, they cared about the service.”

Matt Grinnell said there are discussions with a potential buyer for what may be another food-related business at that location.



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