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Syracuse and Buffalo are ranked among the top 10 large metros in the U.S. for bars per capita. Trulia did the math using U.S. Census data.

The top drinking towns in the U.S. tended to be more affordable rust belt cities, including Pittsburgh and Toledo.

Since Trulia only published a map and not the full rankings, I crunched the numbers using the Census Business Patterns database and Trulia’s methodology.

Here’s where Upstate New York’s cities rank on bars per 10,000 households:

  • Elmira: 8.2
  • Binghamton: 7.1
  • Syracuse: 7.0
  • Buffalo: 6.8
  • Ithaca: 5.4
  • Albany: 4.3
  • Rochester: 4.2

How did Rochester end up dead last?

The presence of a lot of college students doesn’t have an impact when you consider Rochester and Ithaca are robust college towns. One explanation could be Rochester, Albany and Ithaca have better economies and are less blue-collar.



Here is a look at restaurants per 10,000 households:

  • Ithaca: 28.0
  • Albany: 21.6
  • Binghamton: 21.2
  • Syracuse: 19.7
  • Elmira: 19.7
  • Buffalo: 19.2
  • Rochester: 18.7

On this list, the smaller cities with big colleges did very well. Albany has the added bonus of having hungry, deal-making lawmakers.

Trulia found cities with more restaurants per capita have higher real estate prices:

Many people are willing to pay more to live near restaurants. But, more importantly, high-income people have more money to spend on eating out, so the high-cost places where high-income people tend to live can support more restaurants.

That’s certainly true in some Rochester neighborhoods, such as Park Avenue and South Wedge.

2 Responses to Which Upstate Cities Have Most Bars?

  1. Pingback: About Park Avenue » The Rochesterian

  2. August 8, 2012 at 4:25 pm Orielly responds:

    Any correlation between bars / cities and their counties / towns and DWI cases and arrests?

    Also many bars pay rent vs own the property. Commercial real estate rent in Roch is very high perhaps reflective of area greedy commercial landlords and / or reflective of higher area property tax rates, which makes success in the bar business harder due to higher costs.

    My bet would be that a correlation exists among those statistics that drive the number of bars in Rochester down. Having a ‘club’ or bar in Irondequoit with their numerous DWI check points must be challenging to say the least.

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