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February 23, 2013

Rochester Roadhouse deal as 'dead as a doornail'

When I asked my long-time source Travis Doster about the status of the Texas Roadhouse restaurant slated for northwest Rochester, he summed it up pretty quickly.

"The deal is as dead as a doornail," he said with a sigh.


This was the plan to build a 6,995-square-foot restaurant in the parking lot of Rochester's Northwest Plaza shopping center near Sam's Club and Walmart.

Neon-texas-roadhouseAfter years of searching for a spot in Rochester as well as a misfired attempt at opening in the Miracle Mile shopping center, Texas Roadhouse thought it had the Med City locked up. It had plans and permits in hand.

But somebody left the gate open and the cattle stampeded.

The Roadhouse just needed the blessing of its future neighbors — Walmart and Sam's Club — to be able to start construction. That's where it fell it apart.

As other Rochester restaurants have discovered (I'm looking at you Buffalo Wild Wings), parking issues can be a tough obstacle to overcome.

Walmart signed off on the project without an objection, but Sam's Club wasn't sold on the idea of having a large restaurant in the heart of the area where its customers park.

"We're very disappointed. We love the area and we think it is a great fit," says Doster. "We were fairly confident this would work."

So could Texas Roadhouse try to lasso another spot here? Or does this mean the steakhouse chain is now ready to stop beating a dead horse and head for greener pastures?

"We're spent so much time and effort there, it is hard to say what we'll do next," he says. "If any of your readers have any ideas for us, we'd like to hear them.

There you go, Roadhouse fans. The ball is in your court.


I have a solution. Look to the north, as in Menards north. They start construction soon and the Texas Roadhouse can STEAK out some land now.

I think the issue is dont put resturants in the middle of shopping areas unless there is open land, just buy open land and build it-people will come. New Menards area sounds good.

There's the former Old Navy building and the former Best Buy South building. I don't know if there is an opening where the old Fleet Farm used to be. Or else buy land and build. Yes, people will come. There is no doubt.

What about the Amish Furniture store. Right across from two hotels and upcoming access from 65th street.

How about the old Amish furniture store on Bandel Road?

They should buy up the old Burger king and Taco Johns/White Wolf buildings on 41st ST NW. Demolish them and build there!

Yea but thats a bad area to get out of unless they redo the entrance & Exit, i remember coiming out of Burger King and waiting forever to get out.

Yeah that would have to be redone, and it could if they merged the two lots. It would be nice to see that site used again.

I've always liked the Miracle Mile site on the end. Near st. Marys and just off the highway.

OR the old golden corral place. They could set up there probably pretty easy.

I think the original problem with the Mile was parking. Golden Corral could hold some promise. Hotel next door, and just down the street.

Mike's comment is about as ignorant as I have ever seen. the Sam's club and Walmart parking lots ARE open land! the fact that the land is covered with tar doesn't change that fact...

What about building out by the new Costco?

The problem with paved land (parking spots) is that the stores pay for those spots. I imagine it would be tough to use those lots without change in lease agreements and a possible reduction of parking for said store. (overflow of the restaurant or just no parking spots available. Yes, yes I know, noone parks out there haha)

What i meant to say about open land i meant undeveloped land not Tar! tar is parking spaces for stores.true you can build on it but it takes a way from the other stores thats why Buffalo Wild Wings has the hang up on the new store.

I hear the Texas Roadhouse in Rochester MN is scheduled to open tentatively late 2013. Got an email from Texas Roadhouse when i was asking them about it I can't wait for it to open!!!!

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