Riesling, meet bourbon. This refreshing pairing found in the Royal Park Bourbon Sangria is served at the PARK 600 bar + kitchen at Rochester’s Royal Park Hotel. Bartender and server Megan Seeley concocted this citrusy sweet drink while planning the summer menu. “We typically go through 24-30 gallons a week,” says Richard Ragainis, the hotel’s food and beverage director. With such positive buzz from customers, it’s apropos that the drink is made in a sizable jar shaped like a beehive.
Royal Park Hotel
You know someone is destined for a career in hospitality if she loves waiting tables.
Susan Keels, director of sales and marketing at Royal Park Hotel in Rochester, started her career as a waitress at Shield’s while studying accounting and merchandising in college. Soon she was offered a promotion to manager, and then joined Bill Robert’s highly respected group of restaurants (which includes Beverly Hills Grill).
Aesthetic inspiration can come from nearly anywhere— even from a single chair. Ralph Bellisario, owner of Bellisario Florist in Eastpointe, used a Chameleon chair as the starting point for designing a vignette for Ballroom Bliss at the Royal Park Hotel. The silver-toned metal chair with a satin cushion is new and on trend, and can be adapted to a variety of concepts.
INDUSTRY MEMBERS who want to give back while doing what they do best should consider KIDSgala. The foundation, founded by David McKnight, celebrates kids who face major obstacles, such as illness. It got its start after McKnight reconnected with an old friend, Shelly Burton, at a high school reunion.
The Royal Park Hotel in Rochester threw itself a 10th birthday party on Sept. 15. More than 1,000 guests gathered for food, drink and live music. Frank Rewold, owner of the hotel, gave a presentation about the hotel’s first 10 years, and the hotel paid homage to its grand opening in 2004 by bringing back some of the party’s most memorable elements, including a live mermaid, a marching band and a butterfly ceremony.