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September 13, 2011

Is Granite City brewpub carving out spot in Roch.?

It might be hard news for fans of the Granite City Food and Brewery brewpub chain, but "there's nothing concrete" to rumors that it's coming to Rochester.

Granite-City-291x300 That's what Steve Wagenheim, the president and CEO of the St. Louis Park, Minn.-based brew pub chain, told me last week. However, there is always potential for a deal to firm up.

"We're definitely expanding. That's the good news," he says. "We're looking at a lot of different markets. We have a broker in that market looking, but we just haven't found anything yet."

Founded in St. Cloud in 1999, the Granite City brewpubs have 26 restaurants in 11 Midwestern states. No. 27 is slated to open in Troy, Mich., in February.

Rumors of Granite City looking to open in Rochester have been brewing since at least 2005.

Here's what Wagenheim had to say when I harassed him in 2007: "At this point we are not looking at Rochester. That's all I know."

Brewery_growler The daily calls to him might have been a bit much back then. He prefaced that comment with "You are one tenacious son of a gun."

Fast forward to 2011. The story is a little different and I'm not harassing him as much.

"I like the market and would be honored to do something there (in Rochester), but you've got to have the right site," Wangenheim said Friday. "I would say right now that there is just nothing concrete there."

However, the company is growing and is always looking. "When you are doing an all-out search in so many markets, the list changes daily," he says.

Guess I'll just have to keep calling him. Heh.


Kiger - "hard news" "firm up" "slated to open"? King of puns, you are! I

Thanks, 'Licious. Puns are my mutant power. Heh I didn't even consciously write the 'slated to open' as a granite reference, but it worked out well.
Maybe I should stop thinking completely when I write. Heh.

I hope not. Would rather have a real brewpub than GC.

@Carl, I'd be curious as to what you consider "real". I'm a beer snob and I'd love to see Granite City open up here. Their beer may not be perfect but they've got some nice brews and good food. I'd love to see them come to Rochester. Sure, I'd rather see a mom and pop open up with nice food and 60 taps including a few Belgian beers on draught.... but, eh, compared to what Rochester has now I think Granite City would be great.

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