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February 02, 2012

T.G.I. Friday's is gone, but a new name is riding into town

Here's some from my follow-up to the T.G.I Friday's on who is going into that now empty spot:

While another Rochester restaurant has closed for good, another player is saddling up to ride in and take its place.

01312012tgifridaysIt was a sad day for fans of T.G.I. Friday's and their 61 employees, when the Rochester location abruptly closed its doors Tuesday.

However, owner Quantum Leap Restaurants, of Eau Claire, Wis., did say that another business is lined up to sub-lease the restaurant at 300 U.S. 52 North by the Miracle Mile Shopping Center. 

Details are still sparse, but I have confirmed what is slated to move into the 19-year-old complex in southwest Rochester.

TgamapHere's some from a email response I received from Twin Cities entrepreneur and restaurant developer Mike Tupa.

"The rumors are true. I'm very excited to be opening my fifth Wild Bill's Sports Saloon location in Rochester," he wrote in answer to my query if the buzz about Wild Bill's was on target.

I should be able to talk to him next week to find out more details about his plans.


I heard Maid Rite closed too? is Texas Roadhouse and Cousins subs still coming? thanks!

Yep. Maid Rite closed, though the Sanfords still have the truck and the franchise. They hope to re-open somewhere else eventually. Texas Roadhouse has never locked into a space in Rochester, but is supposed to be still looking seriously. Cousins is still a go, as far as I know.

I've never been to one in the cities, but menu looks good (very similar to BWW) - coke products and trivia... I wonder how this will affect the South BWW if any. I think there still is an appetite for more, as the North BWW still has a wait most nights at 8:30 PM.

Wild Bill's will be a good fit for Rochester in my mind - it reminds me a lot of a mix between Buffalo Wild Wings and Famous Dave's. Hopefully they will have an outdoor patio area for the warmer months.

Maybe someone can bring back Golden Corral too as that building continues to sit vacant.

Looked up reviews of this place and there were no good reviews-most negative, i hope they can make it-menu looks good.

I have to say, Schrute called it as soon as the article about T.G.I.F. closing went up on the P-B website...

I'd like to see Golden Corral come back too. They could open in their old spot too.

If the reviews aren't that great, hopefully the staff at the Roch location will be able to make it a better place than the ones in the Cities.

What we need is a Texas Roadhouse, Cracker Barrel, and a Granite City. These all would do very well in this city.

Jeff, have you ever heard of Granite City having any interest in Rochester? I know they do well in Fargo and St. Cloud, as well as the cities.

Waiting - Granite City has repeatedly looked at Rochester. I've talked to Steve Wagenheim, the president and CEO of the St. Louis Park, Minn.-based brew pub chain, many times in the past six or seven years. The most recent was in Sept.

Thanks Jeff!

I see this as an epic fail. Out of town visitors would rather go to a chain, verse a something like this.

I'm waiting for a Sonic, Chili's or I-hop. Come on people! I am really going to miss the Friday's though. Had become a regular hang out.

Chili's would be awesome! Suprised Rochester does not have one.

Jason's Storm, I disagree that out of town visitors want a chain. It's true that Rochester doesn't have that many chain restaurants, it has probably a higher chain to nonchain ratio than a lot of cities have. When I go to other cities, I'm looking for chain restaurants that we don't have here, or small regional chains (like Wild Bill's would be), or more importantly, independent restaurants.

Yes, there are a lot of chains that I think Rochester needs. I would like to see a lot more independent restaurants and more variety of cuisines in Rochester than what we have. But I will admit that Rochester is definitely not a food town.

Chili's and I-hop would be nice.

KOID - what types of cuisine do you feel Rochester lacks?

Jeff K - have you ever contacted Cracker Barrel? Do they know Rochester exists?

Seems menu for Wild Bill's indicates each site has own owner, may not be chain but just franchise to restart new business in old building. Remodel of old face to give a new look to old site!

I would bet that Cracker Barrel would have Rochester nowhere near their map. Everyone I have ever seen is along an interstate somewhere. Since I90 bypasses us I think Cracker Barrel will too.

I heard Cracker barrel on builds on a interstate-leaves us out, and i was not impressed with there food, good it was but nothing to brag about.

I'm ok if CB wants to build next to I90, it's better than driving to Lakeville!

Jason's Storm,Your out of town visitors will not be the majority of guests at this restaurant.Rochester is a big enough city where the majority of the patrons should be from Rochester and the surrounding area.Take a look at the success of B Dubs.Alot of people like places like that and that is what Wild Bill's is.Looks to me like the prices are even better according to the online menus and there are more food/drink specials as well.I think this place will do just fine.

I love T.G.I.F! but while it is already closed for good then why not just enjoy the new restaurant? :) thing's like that, when the door is closed, a new window will be open for yah! ;)

Jeff...did you see that Taco Bell in the Mall is closed? Also Kay Jeweler moved to a new location.

Owquitit, to see what types of cuisine Rochester is lacking, all you need to do is compare cuisine listings between Rochester and the Twin Cities on sites such as Yelp or Urbanspoon. The list of what we're missing compared to the Cities is quite extensive.

If you're asking what cuisines I get excited about when I'm going to other cities (including places like the Twin Cities and Winnipeg and other northern locales), that list would include Cajun/Creole, Russian/Eastern European, British, Australian, Cuban, Caribbean, Brazilian, Peruvian/Latin America besides Mexican, Hawaiian, and Japanese crepes. And while our Mediterranean/Middle Eastern/North Africa options are increasing, but other than the Blue Nile mobile truck (is it still operating?), I don't know of any place in Rochester to get my shwarma fix.

What type of food is Rochester lacking? American

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