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February 15, 2011

Will Red Robin migrate to Roch.?

With the temps climbing and old snow piles starting to melt, some folks are looking for the arrival of the first robin of spring.

6a00d83451cc8269e2010536041389970b-320wi After I asked readers what restaurant brands they craved to have cooking in Rochester, it seems many of you are hoping for a specific robin — Red Robin Gourmet Burgers — to swoop into the Med City.

Here's a note that fluttered into my e-mail box today:

    "I was watching Food Network over the weekend and they did a     segment on Red Robin. I decided to look up their menu. Oh my, why     don't we have a Red Robin here?! Their menu looked great! I am     heading up to Plymouth to try one of their burgers! Thanks." - Terri

I have checked with the chain based in Castle Rock, Colo., before, but Terri's note spurred me to call to see if anything has changed in the past couple of years.

The spokeswoman Jamie Winter was happy to chat, but…

"Unfortunately, I don't have any news about Red Robin opening in your area," she told me. "And I didn't see anything on the radar for 2011."

Red Robin's nesting plan for this year is to build 10 or 11 new restaurants. It already has about 450 in operation across the U.S.

In Minnesota, you can get Red Robin burgers in Apple Valley, Plymouth and Shoreview.

The majority are corporate owned and about one-third are franchises.

Despite the melting snow, it doesn't look like this Robin will be flying into Rochester this spring. Sorry, Terri.

At least the roads should be clear for your drive to Plymouth.


We have plenty of great burger places here in Rochester, don't see any need for another "chain" to muscle in. Buy local, like Newts or Brothers.

We have eaten at a number of RRs across the country and while they are very clean and family oriented,the gourmet burgers served very eye appealing are very ordinary tastewise.

How about Texas Roadhouse? Whatever happened to those plans? Would be nice to have another steakhouse in town since Timberlodge left. I miss the gold old days of Bonanza.

Would also be nice to see someone bring Golden Corral back too. Golden Corral was always busy and the former Gorilla's/Golden Corral building continues to sit empty. There is not one Golden Corral restaurant in Minnesota right now.

I too loved Golden Corral but the food started to go down hill. What made us not want to go back even more was the way some families would come in and allow their children to litterally make a pigsty of the area that they were eating in. I understand the Buffet is all you can eat but to allow their kids to throw food all over the place made it just unpleasant to eat there,as well as other places where parents do not parent there children.

Red Robin is one of the best burger chains around, and for the most part, a lot better than what we have for chain or independent restaurants selling burgers right now. I'd love for RR to come to Rochester. On second thought, for the sake of my waist line and my pocketbook, perhaps they should stay a healthy distance away.

Having a Red Robin only a mile down the road, we have been there twice, "first and last". The food was ordinary and the place was so noisy that we couldn't talk to each other. There are enough local burger joints that serve great burgers that we don't need this particular chain.

I'm not sure why there is all of this "enough burger joints" talk all the time... I was craving a good burger a few days ago and I think we have a real lack of choices. I love Newts but it often means waiting too long for a table. I've given Five Guys a few chances and won't be going back there. Their prices are high and I don't think the food is really that good. Maybe I'm just missing some places. Where else can you get good burgers in town?

I wouldn't classify Newts or Brothers as Family Friendly... Would you take your kids there?

Newts is horrible... McDonalds is the place to get great burgers

Newts is VERY family friendly. I take my kids there all the time and is my 8 year old's favorite place. Anon, everyone has an opinion on "best" burgers, but you are clueless about Newt's.

What I'd like to see come to rochester is not another chain, but more home grown restaurants. It has been getting better each year, and I'm thankful for several of the choices we have.

Ok, I agree that Rochester probably has fewer "good" independent restaurants than other cities our size, but I see nothing wrong with good chains coming to town, and in fact, I welcome them. As they come in, it's more of a sign that Rochester is finally "coming of age" and is becoming a thriving metro area worthy of the attention of these places. But, I will say this: the way I know Rochester, even if I had the money and the inclination to start an independent restaurant, I would think long and hard before actually opening it up in Rochester.

A couple of places I've found to get good burgers in Rochester would be Chester's Boursin Burger (currently my favorite in town) and Fat Willy's.

I say make your own burger at home then the only one you can complain about is yourself. A burger can only be so good-everybody wants the best burger-you may never find it.

Over the years I keep hearing about the "home grown" restaurants and the "chain" restaurants. The problem with "home grown" restaurants is that the cost of providing the level of food, service and value is extremely difficult.

Taxes are not going down, leases are not getting shorter, nor are they going down, food prices keep escalating and consumers keep wanting more for less.

To be competitive in this market you have to have a huge bank roll or a lot of investors. Thus the future variety seems to be coming from the "chain" restaurants. Although many feel this is not what they want it is reality. Let's face it I would love gas to be back at $1.50 and the old "Mom and Pop" restaurants of yester year. If you want a change then you might have to travel to some of the smaller towns around to get the value, variety, and service that you crave.

Yea they make the buger look so good in the picture, i guaretee it dont look like that when they serve it to you! you would have to cut that up just to get it in your mouth!

Actually Mike, it's one of the few restaurant I've ever been to where the food actually does look kind of similar to the pictures...

I've been to Red Robin many times and I can vouch that..that is how their food looks in real life.

Newt's is always crowded, tired of having to wait for a table and look for a parking spot. Five guys is pricy and it's just an ordinary burger.

P.S. If you can get in to Newt's, their nachos are great. It's just too bad you can't get them for lunch, only on the dinner menu.

I second that Red Robin's burgers look similar to their pictures. Very rare to find that indeed.

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