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The Yankee Express

Whiskey Rocks of Dudley will rock you

Craig and Jessica Valby, owners of Whiskey Rocks.

By Janet Stoica
“We tried to imagine a place that we’d like to visit,” said Jessica Valby, co-owner of the new Whiskey Rocks Restaurant, bar, and rodeo experience, “and we’re looking forward to our customer involvement being very different from the norm.”
Craig Valby, who co-owns the new venue with his wife, said, “There really aren’t that many unique, distinctive places to visit in this area and we wanted to bring a bit of flair and fascination to our customers, complementing the other good local dining establishments.”
And distinctive it is.
Bull riding anyone?  Take a ride on Bucky, the restaurant’s mechanical bull. He is definitely one of the most realistic-looking bovines in the area. All Bucky needs is rip-snortin’ steam coming out of his flared nostrils to add an extra bit of excitement to any rider’s experience. 
Ever tried your hand at axe throwing? Maybe you should. There are several hatchet-throwing alleys to set your energy afire and your determination to hit your mark will prove to be exhilarating. 
Of course, there are plans for bull riding and axe throwing tournaments.  
The Valbys also want everyone to know that they have taken every safety precaution to ensure the protection of their patrons. There will be a security team for both entertainment areas and the minimum age requirement is18. 
But this is not all that Whiskey Rocks offers. It presents a distinctive dining atmosphere and menu as well. The place is huge. As you enter, you’ll notice the beautiful copper-top bar along with six sections of dining tables along the south wall. Each dining section will showcase two fireplaces, featuring colorized crystal fire gems, adding to a truly exceptional dining ambience. If there are parties who wish to use a dining section for their own family’s privacy, the option is available. 
The copper-top bar, clad with re-purposed antique wooden doors, seats 30. The doors retain their original colors and paint dings. How cool is that? The same style runs along the front wall under the expansive window glass. A few skylights add to the bar atmosphere.  In addition to the bar and cozy dining area along the south wall, there are plenty of glass-top whiskey barrel high seats as well as long wooden dining tables with comfortable soft seating. 
The north wall includes a bandstand with a freshly painted wall mural created by Webster artist Emily Barnes. The mural’s legend reads: “We are Whiskey Rocks. He’s a little bit Country. She’s a little bit Rock and Roll.”  The dance floor is waiting for you. The bandstand seating area is known as Maker’s Mark Lounge, named for one of the premier whiskeys the site will offer. There is also VIP seating in the area with dedicated servers for dining and cocktail enjoyment. 
Menu offerings include a first-class ½-pound prime rib hamburger, branded with the WB logo, 8-ounce filet mignon, ribeye, steak tips, short ribs, and a special or two like a build-your-own nachos platter and Drunken Duck quesadillas. 
Steaks will be hand-cut by Ed Stearns of Charlton. Homemade mega fries are part of the dining selections, along with plenty of seafood, including a pecan-wood smoked salmon and sea bass. Poultry choices include chestnut-flour-coated chicken and waffles served with apple slaw and honey mustard apple syrup. Endless salad options will be on the menu too. Adult milkshakes are part of their fare as well, with desserts of Mississippi mud pie and other tasty endings. The children’s menu features an activity piece for each youngster to enjoy. 
“We always knew we wanted to open another restaurant,” says Jessica. “Our Stave & Still location has done well. 
“We saw a market niche and built a destination. Our thoughts were that people always go out to enjoy dinner and then what? Just go home? We wanted to create an entertaining spot for everyone to enjoy. We are family friendly. Our spirit selections will include Maker’s Mark whiskey, Olmeca Altos tequila, and Wheatley Vodka, to name a few. Our goal is to have the most extensive whiskey selections available, and we will have what I refer to as our Imbibable Bible much like Stave & Still.” 
The book lists all their liquor offerings with a quip for each spirit.
Executive sous chef is Franceska Rodriguez, formerly of Samuel Slater’s Restaurant. Jessica Valby is the executive chef. 
They will be open during standard dinner hours. A grand opening is slated for the weekend of January 14/15. There will be a full weekend of music, entertainment, and ice sculptures, along with other interesting enjoyments.  
Whiskey Rocks is at 4 Airport Road (Dudley Plaza), Dudley. Phone: (508) 943-9759. Open Tuesday – Saturday.  Gift cards are available. Check them out on Facebook and Instagram @whiskeyrocksbar.  Bucky the Bull has his own Instagram listing: @buckythemechanicalbull.  
Contact Janet:  [email protected]