It used to be a no-frills Tipp Hill pub. It’s gonna be radically different, with a rooftop bar


Syracuse, NY – This was once a self-proclaimed, no-frills, “old guy” bar in the heart of Tipperary Hill. The customers, the beers and the atmosphere of the place hardly changed from day to day.

Over the next year, George O’Dea’s former pub at 1333 W. Fayette St. is going to be something drastically different.

It will be called Emerald Cocktail Kitchen, with a focus on modern, elevated and well-designed mixed drinks. The food will be meant to complement the cocktails.

The building itself, now a single story, will have two additional stories added. And there will be a rooftop bar, with stunning views of the city.

Most of the estimated $2 million project could open by November, owner Michele Roesch said. She aims to open the rooftop space by St. Patrick’s Day 2023.

Even George O’Dea himself (if he were a real person) wouldn’t recognize him.

“Of course, a lot of people have fond memories of O’Dea’s,” said Roesch, whose vision was behind the creation of Emerald Cocktail Kitchen. “I just hope it’s a place where people make new memories.”

Roesch knows the story. His father, Jerry “Bonez” Roesch, owned and operated George O’Dea from the time he purchased the building in 2000 until his semi-retirement in 2016, leaving it to Michele and his brother. These were other bars from the early 1900s.

O’Dea’s was located on the funky corner where West Fayette bends to join Wilbur and Tennyson streets near St. John the Baptist Ukrainian Church. It closed permanently in 2020. Michele Roesch briefly ran a “ghost kitchen” take-out burger restaurant there last year, which she hopes to bring back next year.

Roesch, together with his mother Nora, also owns the successful Brasserie Bar & Bistro in Canton 5 of Camillus. Nora Roesch will also be part of the Emerald team.

Roesch said all of her experiences with O’Dea’s, Tipp Hill, the Brewery and her teamwork there helped shape her plans for the new venue.

“Obviously a lot has changed in the bar and restaurant industry over the past few years,” she said.

And she thinks Tipp Hill is ready for something new.

“It will primarily be a bar with an emphasis on curated craft cocktails,” she said. “When I look at Tipp Hill, I mean yes, there are a lot of bars. But I look at a place like Now & Later (Bottle Shop & Taproom), which has a focus on craft beer that didn’t exist really before. We want to complement this with a focus on good cocktails.

The bar will also offer local craft beers. The kitchen will serve the bar clientele with a menu currently being developed.

“The idea is that it will be a place where you have a drink and the food comes out when it’s ready,” she said, adding that many dishes will be “shareable.” “It’s not really a sit-down restaurant.”

Inside the George O’Dea pub on Tipperary Hill in 2019. (Charlie Miller | [email protected])Charlie Miller

The addition of two new floors is actually a nod to the building’s history. It operated as a hotel or apartment building in the early 1900s, until a fire destroyed the upper floors. This left what had been the basement, which became bars with various owners over the years with names like Val’s, Dooley’s and Dublin’s.

Michele Roesch is proud that her company, formerly called Roeco, is run by women. She said she hopes to reach a goal of using at least 50% female or minority-owned contractors for the project.

She has been working on plans for Emerald Cocktail Kitchen for a year and has managed to keep much of the project under wraps. She knows the old O’Dea’s will be missed by some people.

By the way, this name never referred to a real person. Michele Roesch said it was “a family thing. My grandfather used to call all children “little O’Deas”. “

She plans to keep many memorabilia from the old O’Dea’s, including parts of the bar and shamrock decorations, in the Emerald. But the old bar was “taken down to the posts”, she said.

“To be honest, we haven’t told anyone yet,” she said. Some of his father’s old regulars who know about it said “they’re just glad the building is still in the family”. She even hopes they’ll try the Emerald.

“I mean they’re definitely welcome,” she said. “O’Dea’s was my dad’s place and it was great for 20 years. It’s definitely more me and what I think is the potential of the building.

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Don Cazentre writes for, and the postal standard. Join it at [email protected]or follow him on NYup.comon Twitter or Facebook.


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