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New Around the Woo: The Rock Bar


Rachel Shuster

Located at 81 Water St. in Worcester, The Rock Bar is a new spot in the city for true rock and roll fans.
Owner George Yantsides and his wife Nicole opened the bar on February 1st and have already seen great success.

“It’s going fantastically well! We’ve gotten good feedback and it’s exactly what we were looking to do,” he said. “We’ve been getting folks in the 30 to 60 plus crowd who just want to listen to good music and enjoy themselves.”

Yantsides is no stranger to the bar and hospitality industry, having been in it for over 30 years. “My father and I owned Kenmore Diner and I opened my first bar in the early 90s,” he said. “Before we opened The Rock Bar, I was the general manager at the White Eagle, managing the function halls and bars. We did a nice job of taking a not-so-good bar and turned it around.”

While Yantsides has been busy for the last 30 years, he’s been thinking about The Rock Bar concept with his wife for quite some time. “We’ve talked about it for 20 years,” he said. “We see changes going on in city in the industry, etc., and we’ve had this vision of a cool place for live music and [a] picture of what we thought was a good time. We were just looking for the right place and right time.”

The right time and place finally came, according to Yantsides,“Jefferson Marariam rebought and owns the 81 Water St. building and was entertaining a few offers and concepts. He took a liking to us, we came to an agreement, and here we are!”

The vision and concept for The Rock Bar stems from Yantsides’ upbringing. “It really reflects my musical influences when I was younger, growing up,” he said. “My records and the music I got into was in the likes of Led Zeppelin, Kiss, Ozzy Osbourne – that was my life. So going out all these years, I thought about my love for that music growing up and combining that with a vision I had of what I thought would be a great time for music.”

As for the atmosphere, Yantsides worked with designer John Farnsworth, a designer, to get the space rockin’. “We wrapped the walls with graphics of my influences growing up,” Yantsides said. “It really has the ‘wow factor.’ The graphics really grab you.”

Of course, The Rock Bar lives up to its name by having live music regularly! “We are starting with one live act a weekend, Friday or Saturday,” Yantsides said. “Our first show in April will be an Alice In Chains tribute show. We have an outdoor patio and will utilize that for live music in the warmer months. On Sunday, early afternoons, we will have live acoustic music on [the] patio. So, come sit outside, have a cocktail and enjoy!”

The Rock Bar also offers some grub to munch on while you’re enjoying the music, but Yantsides wants to stick with minimal, but done right. “We want to be known for ‘Dr. Love’s lobster sliders,’” he said. “We want to do a few items and do them well. We plan to expand the menu in the spring and do about five items and do them very well.”

The Rock Bar can also accommodate private events. “We have been contacted to have high school reunions, private parties – everyone that loves rock and roll has messaged us,” he said. The back of the space is a lounge area with a private bar, perfect for a private party.

As for what Yantsides wants folks to know about The Rock Bar? It’s pretty simple: “We want people to know that if they come down, they will have wonderful time,” he said. “It’s a comfortable atmosphere with great live music. We’ve had people that were coming out to have one drink and ended up staying all night.” If that’s not a reason to go, I don’t know what is!

For more information, call 774-317-0122 or email Rock on!

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