Roger’s Dessert Bar sweetens up East Main Street in Patchogue


When Roger Rutherford went before the Patchogue Village Board to propose the opening of a dessert bar on East Main Street, someone said, “Oh, not another bar!”

“Just hear me out,” Rutherford said. “It’s a different high … it’s sugar.”

That’s right, the longtime general manager and operator of Roger’s Frigate in Port Jefferson stepped away from the popular North Shore ice cream and candy destination after 24 years to focus on serving a wide array of desserts and pastries in Patchogue.

Plus, soft and hard serve ice cream, candy, old-fashioned sweets, freshly baked cookies, smoothies, milkshakes, cappuccinos, lattes, and coffee at Roger’s Dessert Bar at 18 E. Main St.

“My mission is to take care of the local families, the locals, the people that work in the community, and offer them great service, great product, and a wonderful time,” Rutherford said with a big smile.

“I want to get to know the community and cater to them.”

Rutherford, owner, operator, and manager of Roger’s Dessert Bar, hopes to help bring a family
atmosphere to the area. (Kevin Redding)

Step inside Roger’s Dessert Bar, which officially opened June 2, and you’ll see a vibrant glass display of richly flavored treats — including raspberry cheesecakes, lemon raspberry mousse, mini eclairs, Napoleon pastry, Oreo cupcakes, black & white cookies, linzer tart cookies, M&M-filled chocolate chip cookies, tiramisu, and Peanut Butter Explosion, among several others.

“Lemon Delight is one of our top sellers,” Rutherford said.

Further down the shop, past the main seating area, there’s a coffee-, milshake-, and smoothie-making station (shakes include the classics, plus peanut butter, banana, and cookie dough, and smoothies include Pina Colada, Chocolate Monkey Protein, and strawberry banana) and a lengthy selection of ice cream (coned or cupped): cherry vanilla, mint chocolate chip, Moose Tracks, pistachio, Birthday Cake, rum raisin, coconut, cookie dough, to name a few.

There’s also a tiny bar with stools, making for a comfortable area to indulge.

Most of the shop is painted “vanilla,” “chocolate,” and “strawberry,” with multi-colored sprinkle designs decorating the walls.

Initially conceived as just a dessert bar, Rutherford was informed by the village board that the site was once home to an old-fashioned candy shop, Sensationally Sweet, for years. 

“It was expressed how much the community missed that candy shop,” Rutherford said. “So with my background, I’m happy to bring something like that back to everybody.”

The candy section is endless, with an assortment of standards like Raisinets, Whoppers, and Pocky, and more old school sweets like jawbreakers, Quick Blast Sour Candy Spray, candy cigarettes, gummy cola bottles and killer sharks, and taffy.

While he said most of the ice cream is gluten-free, Rutherford noted, “We’re looking to expand our dessert and pastry line to cater to certain diets and restrictions … gluten-free, sugar-free, and low fat products.”

Born and raised in Guyana, Rutherford recalled that the year-long boiling temperatures made ice cream a hot commodity. But the closest shop was about a quarter of a mile away from home, so he and his sister would take turns traveling there to get two soft serve cones while the other stayed home.

The beating sun made that difficult, though.

“We’d have to hustle back before they melted, so it was a constant battle, just licking your arms as the ice cream is just melting and melting, dripped all over our hands,” Rutherford laughed. “And when I’d get home, they’d just be reduced to about a quarter of the size they started out as.”

To this day, Rutherford’s personal go-to treat is a classic vanilla soft serve on a cone.

“It’s still my favorite. You can’t go wrong!” he said.

Roger’s Dessert Bar, located at 18 E Main St., Patchogue, is open every day of the week: Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m, and Friday & Saturday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Photos by Kevin Redding.