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January 09, 2012

Sports bar coming to downtown Roch.

In case you missed it in the weekend paper, here's some info on the new bar in works in the former Gilligans space. It is already looking pretty sharp inside:

A local duo are working to create a new sports bar legend in downtown Rochester.

Jeff Fieseler and Travis Fischer, both of Rochester, have construction crews working hard on their new Legends Bar and Grill. The goal is to open the doors in early February.
It is located at 11 Fourth St. S.E. in the AFL Labor Temple. That's the former home of the sometimes controversial Gilligan's, which closed in September.

"It's going to be a sports-themed bar for average working-class people," says Fieseler. "We want it to be a comfortable and secure place for people to watch sports, play some pool and have a drink."

It is being renovated to expand seating and to create a more open environment. The bar will offer easier access to the restrooms, while restricting access to the rest of the Labor complex.

The revamped bar will be decorated with displays of sports legends. It will not have a dance floor as in the past.

The two owners, who are financing the project themselves, have both worked in the local bar scene for years. So they realize that the ex-Gilligan's location comes with some history.

"We know there is some concern about the crowd," Fieseler says.

Legends will be working with the Rochester Police Dept. as well as the Rochester Downtown Alliance's self-appointed Clean & Safe Task Force to follow the bar guidelines established by that monitoring group.

They plan to have a minimum of four security staffers on duty during the weekends.

"We will work with everyone to make this a clean and safe business," says Fischer.

Once Legend is up and running for about a month or so, they expect to fire up the kitchen and offer a menu of traditional bar food.

They are closing off the area that was used for dancing when it was Gilligan's. Eventually, the owners hope to remodel it to serve private gatherings.


Being it's in the Union Temple, is it going to be union employees again? Union construction crews remodeling it?

And a sports bar for "average, working-class"? As opposed to what? Wall Street-type investment bankers? Gilligan's was full of "average, working-class", and we saw the trouble they had. Why not a sports bar for EVERYONE, like Dooley's?

I noticed a for sale sign on this building today. Is this something that just happened recently?

Did Legend's ever open or what's the deal?

I wouldn't be surprised if the deal fell through considering all of the issues that happened with the owners and city council.

Legends did open and I assume it is still open.

The bar is a tenant renting space in the building, which is owned by the local labor unions.

So the building being for sale shouldn't have impact on the bar.

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