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January 13, 2022

Alumni Spotlight: Bob ’07 and Meg Hartman ’07, ’15

Bob and Meg Hartman

Applying marketing concepts, that you also teach, to a real-world business venture is unique. Mix that with a fresh entrepreneurial spirit, and a creative twist to a traditional social experience, and the result is AltBar, Rochester’s new alcohol-free pop-up.

In November 2021, Roberts alumni Bob’07 (Religion & Philosophy) and Meg Hartman’07,’15 (Communication, Strategic Marketing M.S.) launched AltBar, a venture that brings non-alcoholic craft cocktails to people who’d like an alcohol-free alternative to the social experience of Rochester’s bar scene. In addition to co-founding AltBar, Bob is a senior leader in product strategy and design at MVP Health Care and Meg serves as director of degree completion programs and assistant professor of marketing at Roberts Wesleyan College.

All of AltBar’s signature craft cocktails have clever names, like “Visit with the In-Laws” and “Kiss Me at Midnight,” and are made from zero-proof spirits that are complex in flavor and not overly sweet. While building the business, the Hartmans learned that the overall experience makes a difference to the consumer, a concept Meg conveys to the next generation of smart marketers in the classes she teaches at Roberts Wesleyan. Things like glassware, high-quality ice-cube shapes and beautiful garnishes were all elements the Hartmans apply to each pop-up event.

"Neither of us thought we'd be entrepreneurs, but when we saw a gap in the market align with our passion and experience, we decided to go for it! It's been a fun journey so far, discovering our strengths (and weaknesses) and working as a team to provide an elevated experience that doesn't focus on alcohol. We are looking forward to hosting 2+ pop-ups monthly in various locations throughout the Rochester region and continuing to expand our business."

Here are a few links to some recent coverage of this unique business venture:

Democrat & Chronicle: New pop-up bar creates buzz in Rochester without the booze. Here's where to find it

CITY Newspaper: AltBar brings sober alternatives to Rochester’s bar scene

Refined Taste with Dario and Chris podcast: Put That O’Doul’s Down: AltBar

One more AltBar pop-up is scheduled for “Dry January” in Rochester on 1/29. For details, visit

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