|What's on Second Closing after 23 years|
by Dean Nicosia
We've been there for 13 years of the 23 years they've been in business. It's been our home through thick and thin, good times and bad. What started as a club formed with the intent of find a place where New England Patriots fans could gather and watch the game and fellowship, turned into a club that has formed many great friendships and has lasted the test of time. Now that club has no home, until we find another.
When Ron Woodill and I went looking for a home for our newly formed Patriots fan club of Rochester, we started at the bar where we had watched our first season, Bathtub Billy's. "The Tub" as it's know is a popular spot in Rochester on Sundays, as they were one of the first sports bars to start showing all of the games. I wandered down there one Sunday early in the 1993 season, the Patriots had a new QB named Drew Bledsoe, and they had the "Tuna" for a coach and I couldn't sit idly by and watch the Bills another week. I ran into Ron Woodill, Pat Stuhlimiller, and a few others, and together we watched every game for the rest of the season.
5 or 6 Strangers brought together with one common bond, the New England Patriots. But in that small group I started feeling the friendships grow, the camaraderie intensify and the bond gaining strength. I had just made some new friends with something in common, and I had a place to watch my favorite team, and some hands to high five. Thus the idea, let's spread the word and get some more people into our little group, and let's find a home to ourselves.
The kind owners of "The Tub" referred us to John and Dorothy Wright at What's on Second, knowing them to be from Boston, and knowing that they had a theme in their tavern that was all Boston, and the New England Patriots. The rest is history, 1994 came and we had a new home and had spread the word, and managed to bring in 20 members that year. We have never looked back and are now stronger than ever, and as I said the friendships are now old ones, good and strong ones.
But there were some lean years, weeks where there were but a few of us, still cheering on our team, still enjoying getting together for the games. It's those years that most places would have told us to "get lost", yet the Wrights, just as much a part of our club as anyone in the group, continued to support us. Continued to welcome us into their home, week after week, for 13 years.
You don't find many little family restaurants and taverns like that anymore, and now all you'll find down at the plaza once known as Northgate is a super Wal-Mart. Small "mom and pop" places replaced with the big chain, the story of the American marketplace of late.
It's sad to see the place close, a place that was my Sunday home for 13 years, a place like "Cheers" where everybody knows my name. It's sad to see that close, because I know that places like What's on Second are a dying bread. The small stores, restaurants and bars are being replaced by the big chains, and the home town feel has been replaced with it.
This club, myself and all of the good friends of mine that are a part of this club have What's on Second to thank for it's existence today. It was our home for 13 years, and I can't believe we must look for a new one.
We will continue on, and find a new place to meet, and the Wrights will continue to be a part of our group, for that I am thankful. This group is now strong enough to be able to go on for a long time to come, no matter where we meet. But I for one will never forget all of the good times that were had down at What's on Second.
We've been there for 13 years, and now we must look for a new home.
I hope you will stick with us, and never forget the little Boston bar that we called home for so long!
I'll see you at...well we'll figure that one out later, but I'll see you nevertheless, soon!
God Bless and Go Patriots!!