Dear Answer Man: When my dad moved our family to Rochester in 1980, I remember we pulled into a place for breakfast called something like Richard's Roast. Not sure where it was, but my taste buds will never forget that plate of over-easy eggs, bacon and hash browns. What can you tell me about the place? Hungry Fan
You're talking about Richard's Roost, and yes, the hash browns there were something special. When I was a kid, Grandpappy Answer Man always took me there on his morning rounds and ordered a couple of breakfast specials. He said it was the best breakfast deal in town.
The establishment, at 13 First St. SW, was originally known as the Hargesheimer Restaurant, and was connected to the adjacent Eagle/Rexall drug store. You could walk through a glass door from one to the other.
A remodeling in 1963 added a farm decor, with giant caricatures of chickens on the wall. An expansion in 1965 added the Ranch Room and brought dining capacity to 140.
Alas, by 1985, with the CenterPlace development on the horizon, days were numbered for Richard's Roost. The restaurant closed its doors for the last time in November of that year. The site is now occupied by the LensCrafters store in the Shops at University Square.
And I'm suddenly craving hash browns.