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December 17, 2012

Lots of brew news percolating on Broadway

As winter settles over the Med City like a crow onto a familiar roost, new projects brewing on Broadway have people all aflutter.

The buzz centers around a word that fuels much of modern civilization — caffeine.

Details still are dribbling in, but it sounds as if Rochester's cup may soon be warmed up with a new downtown tea house as well as a coffee shop. Given the growth of such places in the past years, this probably doesn't sound too unusual.

CupWhat makes these percolating deals standout is that they don't have a big fancy national brand name attached to them. Don't expect a marketing department or a focus-group approved logo.

If this all pours out as anticipated, Rochester will see locally owned places stir into the mix that competes for the business of area tea and coffee lovers.

A building permit already is filtering through the system for a tea house on North Broadway in downtown. It looks as if this one will be a second serving for a popular Winona-based operation.

The Mandala Tea Center for Wellness, owned by Garret Sorensen and Sarah Crawford, goes directly to China to import its teas. The owners, on their website, explain their reasoning this way: "in order to get the finest teas and to understand the magnitude of the tea culture in the world."

I should have more on this project soon.

Now, I don't know as much about the locally driven coffee project yet, but I believe I'm familiar with the mug behind it.

If my sources aren't loopy from too much java, this deal could be in the works for South Broadway.

This would give the hordes of people who pour into downtown daily another spot to "measure out their lives with coffee spoons." This one still is flying under the radar right now. I hope to know more about this deal soon and how it will be stirred into the Med City mix.

While my cup is overflowing with such potent brew news, I once again should bring out a topic that I served up not long ago.

Teavana, a national purveyor with more than 200 locations in the U.S. and Mexico, is working on a spot in Rochester. A recent building permit showed it setting the table for a place in Apache Mall.

If all this happens as expected, it would add a few new choices for those looking for a warm cup on a cold, blustery Minnesota day.


Speaking of brew news, whats the deal with the new brew pub on 7th Street NW (near Ye Olde Butcher Shoppe)? Anyone been there yet? Are they open?

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