You might be surprised to know that Finger Rock isn’t the latest teenage sexual vernacular, but actually Ushuaia’s new restaurant/bar. While Finger Rock officially opened last semester during Homecoming weekend, it celebrated its grand opening this past Thursday with a packed house of alcohol-hungry college students fresh off winter break.
Finger Rock and Ushuaia share the same roof, but the difference between the two bars is striking. Ushuaia is your typical college dance club with loud music and pulsating strobe lights, but Finger Rock offers a much more laid back experience.
“The decor is much warmer in Finger Rock and is much more inviting whether one wants to have a beer and watch the game or have dinner,” said Alex Gray, Ushuaia and Finger Rock owner.
Finger Rock gets its name from a climbable rock formation in Tucson, Ariz., where Gray’s grandfather lived.
“I thought Finger Rock meant something a boy and a girl would do to each other,” said Katie Butler, a junior nursing student who frequents Ushuaia.
More than five years ago, Ushuaia replaced Geddy’s, which marked a large improvement in the local drinking scene, and Gray hopes that the addition of Finger Rock will similarly advance the drinking and eating options in the area.
“My staff and I saw the need for more eateries in Orono. Before or after a cultural event at MCA or a sporting event it is hard to get a meal in town… Finger Rock is a great alternative to what is currently available,” said Gray.
Finger Rock is nicer and cleaner than the rest of Ushuaia and has some state-of-the-art features, including a fiber optic bar that changes colors, three 42 inch plasma televisions and an impressive sound system.
“I really don’t care about the plasma televisions, I think that is more of a guy thing, but the bar that changes colors is psychedelic and it rocks my world,” said Kelley Pinkham, junior nursing student and Ushuaia connoisseur. The addition of Finger Rock makes Ushuaia’s crowded weekend nights a little more bearable, providing another outlet to get drinks.
While Finger Rock serves as a bar, its main function is that of a restaurant. It offers an extensive and varying menu, with a wide range of prices and appetizer and entree choices. The average appetizer price is $5.95, according to Gray. Also available are some more upscale steaks including New York strip, ribeye and prime rib that cost around $14.99.
“We also feature soups, salads, burgers, gourmet pizzas, several pasta dishes and seafood, including Maine Lobster,” said Gray.
One thing that will make Finger Rock a sure-fire hit in the area is that it serves late-night food, which is always popular with drunk college students.
“It’s convenient because you don’t have to pay $40 to get a cab ride to Denny’s, instead you can just eat [at Finger Rock],” said Pinkham.
Currently, Finger Rock is open Monday through Saturday at 4 p.m. for dinner and drinks. Gray said he hopes to expand hours for special events like the Superbowl, Bumstock and sporting playoff events. Gray said he also hopes to add a Sunday brunch in the near future.
“I had eggs, homefries and toast, it was really good and the service was great…you get a lot of bang for your buck,” said Pinkham.
Gray said he hopes to have daily specials. Currently Monday nights feature 25 cent wings and $2.00 Bud Lights, Thursday night is College Night with two-for-one appetizers and Friday nights are Martini Nights, with a rotating schedule of discounted martinis, cosmopolitans and Manhattans.