While much of the action at this past weekend’s Apple Fest centered on Lincoln Avenue, with people lining up for pie and caramel apples, one of the highlights of the event took place three stories above street level. Gene’s Sausage Shop unveiled its much-anticipated rooftop deck—if only for a few hours.
Festivalgoers were treated to a preview of what Gene’s plans to offer patrons next spring: an open-air beer garden that’s destined to become one of the neighborhood’s premier outdoor gathering spots.
Stepping out from the elevator onto the rooftop, it was immediately apparent that Gene’s has paid attention to every detail, from the wooden parquet-style flooring to the flower boxes and planters ringing the deck. Rows of picnic tables have been laid out to encourage a casual, communal experience. A bandstand and walk-up service counter are signs of things to come: live music and a full menu of food and drink. Over the weekend, Gene’s offered a tantalizing glimpse of the future, with an accordionist serenading patrons as they munched on apple pancakes and blintzes.
Like all dress rehearsals, this one had its glitches, mainly a faulty elevator that signaled the potential for access issues (it was unclear whether the stairs will be made available in the spring), but Gene’s now has the entire fall and winter to iron out any kinks. On this crisp September afternoon, with the grand opening still months away, it was impossible not to wish it were next summer already.