The Meeting House: Where Vintage Meets Modern


Chef Johnson’s mother and grandmother are celebrating their 72nd and 92nd birthdays at The Meeting House.

Mariam Hanna, Features Editor

When Chef Chris Johnson graduated from Rochester High in 1997, he was excited for whatever lie in front of him. But what he didn’t know was that in just a few decades, he would start and run a largely successful restaurant in his hometown. The Meeting House, located on Main & Third in Downtown Rochester, is visited by 500 people a day who are in the mood for some Seasonal American food. Along with his business partner, Johnson opened this upscale casual restaurant back in 2012. 

“Half of business is filling a niche,” Chef Johnson said. “Like figuring out what the demographic needs and providing a service, and we thought there was a lack of upscale casual neighborhood spots that are doing more progressive food.”

Chef Johnson grew up in Rochester and has lived here for the majority of his life. He remembers walking down Main Street in his early years and loving the town. He describes working where he was raised as a dream come true.

“I went to Rochester High,” Chef Johnson said. “I’m blue and white, bleed it for life. Huge fan to this day. I grew up in this town, and all these businesses that have been here forever, like Lyttle Pharmacy, Lipuma’s Coney Island, Knapps, these are all places I frequented all the time. And as a I got older, I realized what a great place it actually is to raise your family and what a great town it is to do business in. I’ve worked in a lot of different areas in the state, and it’s the best.”