City of Rochester, Roc Holiday Village, Community Sponsors to Provide Restaurants Free Winter Greenhouses During Pandemic

Restaurants Can Apply Now to be Entered into a Lottery to Receive a Free Greenhouse Rental for up to Four Months

Rochester, NYJanuary 6, 2021—Mayor Lovely A. Warren and Roc Holiday Village today launched an initiative supported by Rochester Area Community Foundation, ESL Federal Credit Union and other sponsors to provide up to 25 restaurants a free winter greenhouse to offer temporary outdoor dining options during the coronavirus pandemic.


“I am so thankful that these esteemed Rochester institutions and other sponsors are stepping forward to support city restaurants through the pandemic and help position them for a full economic recovery,” said Mayor Warren. “Rochester’s dining establishments are a critical pillar of our small business economy and we must do all we can to help them survive this crisis. The generosity of our community, combined with the creativity and expertise of our partners at Roc Holiday Village, will help us create more jobs, safer and more vibrant neighborhoods and better educational opportunities.”

“We’re grateful for the opportunity to support our city, the community, and our friends in the restaurant business during these challenging times,” said Jenna Manetta-Knauf, co-founder and producer of Roc Holiday Village, along with Kelli Marsh and Sean McCarthy. “Knowing that we couldn’t bring the Holiday Village’s festival experience back to Rochester this year, we’re glad to be part of something fun that people can enjoy while still feeling safe. With the success of our Winter Igloos, it made sense to do something similar to support our local restaurants through the cold season.”

“This is a smart and necessary initiative put together by the City of Rochester and Roc Holiday Village that ESL is proud to support,” said Ajamu Kitwana, Vice President/Director of Community Impact, ESL Federal Credit Union. “Small businesses, particularly restaurants and the hospitality industry, have been hit hard throughout the pandemic, and this will allow for some additional capacity to earn revenue during the cold winter months. It is inspiring to see funding organizations coming together to support this idea.”

“It’s essential to do everything we can to safeguard small businesses. We were delighted to co-invest with philanthropist Suzanne Gouvernet to support this creative solution that will prevent our often harsh winter weather from being another obstacle for city restaurants,” said Jennifer Leonard, president and CEO of the Rochester Area Community Foundation.

The Winter Greenhouses provide restaurants an opportunity to extend their business space outside and remain compliant with State coronavirus guidelines, including those in Orange Zones. The City is waiving outdoor dining permit fees during the pandemic and has developed a streamlined permitting process to facilitate a fast and safe opening.

The City partnered with Roc Holiday Village, organizers of the successful and popular holiday festival at Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park, to manage the program due to their demonstrated ability to transform outdoor shelters into welcoming, festive hospitality spaces. Roc Holiday Village will facilitate the application process, lottery, installation and provide event- planning guidance to help restaurants maximize the benefit of the structures.

The initiative allows a greenhouse to be in place on private property, a sidewalk or a portion of the street for up to four months. Restaurants would have up to three weeks to begin operating greenhouses, which could push the opening to a time when the city is not in an Orange Zone.

The greenhouses will be distributed among city Neighborhood Service Center quadrants. Once an application has been received, Roc Holiday Village staff will conduct an initial site visit to determine if the space will accommodate the greenhouse. If there are more eligible applicants in a quadrant than available greenhouses, a lottery will be held to determine the award.

Other program sponsors include Rochester Regional Health, Anthony Butera Team at Keller Williams, 13WHAM, CW, Fox Rochester, and iHeartMedia.

To learn more about the specifications of the greenhouses and submit an application, visit rocholidayvillage.com/greenhouses or jumpstartingroc.com.

The deadline to apply is 5 p.m. Monday, Jan. 11.

How to Apply & More Information
  • Restaurants within the City limits can visit form.jotform.com/203514148691051 to learn more and apply starting Wednesday, January 6.
  • There is no fee to participate.
  • The deadline for applications is 5 p.m. Monday, Jan. 11.
  • Restaurants that have applied will be invited to a live lottery drawing event via Zoom on Wednesday, January 13 followed by an announcement to the public.
  • Insurance and permits will be issued and cleared by City of Rochester department officials.
About the Greenhouses
  • Each greenhouse measures 8-feet high and 8-feet wide and is made with aluminum framing and clear crystal polycarbonate built to withstand snow and wind.
  • Restaurants are responsible for heat, electricity, furnishing and outfitting the greenhouses.
  • Capacity will be from two to ten people pending restrictions and in accordance with public health and safety guidelines.

Download the new Roc Holiday Village Winter Greenhouses logo.