Over 80 years of lifting spirits & drowning sorrows
For over 60 years patrons have lifted their spirits, and their glasses, at Marge’s Lakeside Inn located in Rochester, NY. During the Prohibition Era, property owner George Magin ran it as a speakeasy where he would make Scofflaw cocktails with liquor bootlegged from Canada and serve beer he brewed in his basement. Prohibition eventually ended, but the fun carried on as “Magin’s” was one of the first establishments in Monroe County to obtain a liquor license.
On October 1, 1960, Marge Beth, a hardworking woman with a lifetime’s experience in the bar business bought the tavern now known as Marge’s Lakeside Inn. Marge and her son Ron treated customers to cool cocktails and homey hospitality while Marge’s other son, Gerry, entertained patrons by playing the piano. As a family they anchored Marge’s reputation as the best watering hole on Rochester’s waterside.
In 1975, Ron Beth took over the business from Marge. Ron, always living life to the fullest, poured his heart and soul into the bar and despite complications from cancer, was the life of the party until the end of his own in 1986. Now, Ron’s wife Fran and daughter Francine carry on the Marge’s tradition of fun in the sun and good times all year round. Fran, (often mistakenly referred to as “Marge” by those not familiar with the tavern’s history) can be seen proofing visitors at the door and, on occasion, heard belting out a Patsy Cline tune at the top of her lungs.
Today, visitors to the tavern are given a warm welcome with the expansive, outdoor firepit and surrounding lounge area. On many evenings, a guest may climb the stairs to find they have ambled upon an impromptu, fireside sing-along with one of the well-known Rochester musicians that have come to know Marge’s as a performance destination.
Once inside, people are greeted at the small but charmed front bar, where overhead nets are filled with nostalgic trinkets and partiers are encouraged to play tambourines and maracas as oldies spin on Rochester’s most beloved jukebox. As visitors wander through the back room, they are transfixed by a montage of memories that adorn the walls. From humble beginnings and hard-hitting storms to celebrity visits and Caribbean adventures, the images unfold the past like the pages of a treasured family album.
While the colorful history of Marge’s makes it one of Rochester’s most unique places to visit, it is what lies beyond the bar that makes it the most sought after. Just through the back room, patrons are transported to “island time” where they can put their toes in the sand and enjoy a signature cocktail from the authentic “Tip-sea” Tiki Bar. Whether pulling up a chair to listen to live music, or just enjoying the sound of the surf, Marge’s is a destination for relaxation and revelry against the backdrop of an intoxicating, Lake Ontario sunset.