The owners of the Zzest restaurants in Rochester are planning two new restaurants and bars in the old Chicago Great Western railroad depot, on the Zumbro River just across from downtown.
The historic depot most recently was occupied by El Loro, a Mexican restaurant, which closed last winter. The 115-year-old building at 20 Fourth St. SE was bought by Med City Restaurant Group in January for $800,000. Among its attractions: the wrap-around deck for outdoor seating, with one of the best views in town.
LeeAnn Zubay, owner of Zzest Cafe & Bar on 16th Street Southwest and the Zzest Lunch Counter and Market in the First Avenue Food Court downtown, says on her website that the family-owned company will lease the depot and open two new businesses there. In October or November, the plan is to open Porch, a restaurant featuring "urban farm fare," on the main level. In early winter, they'll open Cellar on the lower level, featuring craft cocktails, "dynamic, chef-driven" food and a "gentleman's club" vibe.
The restaurants will be led by Jason Zubay, Lindsay Zubay and chef Justin Schoville.
Also on Zzest's to-do list: moving the lunch counter and market from its current space to the former Dunn Brothers Coffee and Hot Pot spaces near the front of the Food Court. The owners of Dunn Brothers and Hot Pot told the Post-Bulletin's Answer Man last week that they decided not to renew their lease and are looking for a new spot downtown.