Titus Tavern bringing back the local bar scene

05:00 AM, Mar 08, 2013

Titus Tavern, 690 Titus Ave., opened in early January. (Gretchen Lee Carletta)/

Written By Pete Wayner

Titus Tavern

Address: 690 Titus Ave., Irondequoit.
Hours: 4 p.m. to midnight Monday and Tuesday; 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. Wednesday and Thursday; 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. Friday; 2 p.m. to 2 a.m. Saturday; 2 p.m. to midnight Sunday.
Phone number: (585) 270-5365.

People were already tucked into their homes the night Titus Tavern first opened its taps to the public.

Then, phones started ringing. People called friends to come to the new bar’s unofficial opening.

It was mobbed,” says John Giehl, co-owner of Titus Tavern, located at 690 Titus Ave.

Giehl, 60, says the tavern fills a need in the community.

Nowadays, the local bar is coming back into fruition,” says Giehl. “People in West Irondequoit want to stay in this area. They want to socialize … that’s what we’ve given them.”

Titus Tavern has 13 beers on tap, red and white wine and a selection of liquor. A worn wooden lacrosse stick hangs over the fireplace — a testament to Irondequoit athletics.

The tavern serves a variety of pub fare, including wings and a selection of Cooper Deli sandwiches.

Sandwiches like the Sandy Sizzler and Radical Richie were named after deli employees, friends and family.

Giehl owned Cooper Deli, which shares a wall with Titus Tavern, from 1979 until 2006. All of the food at Titus Tavern is made in the deli.

Bucky Montroise, Giehl’s business partner, grew up in Irondequoit, too.

It’s funny — both of us being from Irondequoit and knowing not only the people that we grew up with, but some of their children are patrons as well,” he says. “They introduce themselves (and say), ‘My dad played football with you.’ “

Montroise, 57, is a coffee salesman. He and Giehl became friends over the years as Montroise was a vendor to the deli.

Montroise said that over the course of their 33-year friendship, co-owning a bar came up once in a while, and when the space next to the deli became vacant, they knew their time had come.

On a recent Friday night, Giehl and Montroise greeted people by name. Giehl’s daughter was in town from Toronto; it was her friend’s birthday.

Keegan, the birthday girl, handed Giehl a souvenir from Key West.

The gift was a sign to hang over the bar, which reads: “There are no strangers here. Just friends you haven’t yet met.”