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1399 posts categorized "Food news"

April 23, 2014

Pizza Hut to reopen after renovation, adds delivery

Rochester's Pizza Hut restaurant along U.S. 52 North is expected to start cooking again today, following its renovation.


The 28-year-old brick restaurant at 2001 U.S. 52 North Frontage Road has been closed for about five weeks for a major overhaul that cost at least $168,000, according to building records.
PRN10-PIZZA-HUT-LOGO-1y-4-1-1-1High
When the doors re-open today, customers will find more than just the look is different. The pizza restaurant now offers delivery and table service. It previously was a dine-in/pick-up only place.

"We wanted to update the current restaurant and add delivery to its dine-in service," said Doug Prickett.

Prickett is the director of Minnesota operations for the owner, San Antonio, Texas-based Muy Brands. The employees remained on the payroll and worked at the two other Rochester Pizza Hut locations while it was closed for construction.

Pizza Hut's delivery-only location at 1105 Seventh St. N.W. is closing with U.S. 52 spot's addition of delivery.

Muy Brands, one of the largest Pizza Hut franchisees in the U.S., acquired the three Rochester Pizza Huts as part of the purchase deal with Sky Ventures of Golden Valley. Sky Ventures sold 54 Pizza Huts to Muy at the end of last year.

The sale of Rochester's U.S. 52 restaurant closed in January for $986,733.

Pizza Hut is not the only eatery on that stretch of frontage road that has changes on the menu.

The Rochester City Council OKed fire hydrant connections to serve a to-be-constructed new McDonald's this week. The new restaurant, which is being built along West Circle Drive by Costco, will replace the current one on the frontage road by Pizza Hut.

Once the new restaurant is complete, the old store will close. Until then, it will remain open.

April 15, 2014

Doubletree's Rochester Club to stop serving lunch

RochclubletterTitan Development's Doubletree by Hilton hotel sent out a letter to the members of its exclusive Rochester Club to notify them that the club will soon stop serving lunch.

These club members have access to the Doubletree's Executive Lounge, which it accessible only from the two executive level floors. It serves a hot breakfast buffet, a light hot dinner and cocktails with the Doubletree cookies and milk later in the evening.

Rochester clubNot sure how many people are members of the Rochester Club, but I believe a lot of local business leaders use this service.

The letter, which was forwarded to me from multiple members, mentions how much Titan has on its plate right now with its two downtown developments. It didn't explain how those projects connect to the Rochester Club and exactly why the lunch is going away.

I have a call in to the hotel to try to get more details.

April 02, 2014

North Roch. Pizza Hut getting a makeover

Rochester's Pizza Hut restaurant along U.S. 52 North is getting a full makeover.

01042014pizzahutworkThe Pizza Hut at 2001 U.S. 52 North Frontage Road currently is closed while construction crews revamp the 28-year-old brick restaurant. It sits between McDonald's and Motel 6.

San Antonio, Texas-based Muy Brands is driving the upgrade of the Pizza Hut. Muy, one of the largest Pizza Hut franchisees in the U.S., bought the restaurant in January for $986,733.

There's no official timeline for when the work will be complete, but it looks to be progressing fast enough that the restaurant could re-open by late spring or early summer. Building permits dating back to December estimate the value of the project at $168,000.

The Pizza Hut is not the only restaurant in that neighborhood with changes cooking.

Construction o01042014mcdonaldssitef a new McDonald's restaurant will soon begin by Costco, off 19th Street Northwest. Once the new restaurant is complete, the McDonald's next to Pizza Hut will shift to the new restaurant and the old store will close. Until then, it will remain open.

March 27, 2014

Olive oil shop + fashion boutique

Sometimes oil does mix well.

Stillwater Olive Oil Co. is reviving its downtown Rochester presence by moving in with Exquisite Leather, Luggage and Furs on Historic Third Street.

03262014exquisite"It's kind of a good fit. Lots of women who shop at the boutique also buy from us," says co-owner Ginger Zehm. "There's a lot of overlap."

Lisa Irhke, who owns the three Exquisite Leather boutiques in Rochester, agrees that the two retailers have a lot in common. Irhke opened the 1,600-square-foot store at 20 Third St. S.W. last year. Since then she has found that the boutique doesn't need all of the available space. Stillwater Oil is crafting its own niche within the store that will be about the same size as its previous spot in Rochester.

StillwaterOliveOil440Zehmn hopes to re-open Stillwater Olive Oil by April 1 within Exquisite Leather. The olive oil shop and the fashion boutique will "share" staff with Exquisite Leather's employees being trained to sell the oil and vinegars.

She and co-owner Holly Arps started with their original shop in Stillwater in 2010. They followed their success there by opening a second location in Rochester within the Kahler Hotel in 2011. That earned them a number of Med City foodie fans who were attracted to the wide selection of high-end, flavored olive oils and balsamic vinegars.

"Then there were lots of changes at Kahler. We needed a change," she says. "But we wanted to stay in downtown."

Stillwater Oil's Kahler shop closed at the start of this month to prepare for the transition to Historic Third Street. Manager Tony Miller since has moved on to work at Cook's Pantry, a culinary specialty store in southwest Rochester.

March 04, 2014

New Denny's to start cooking Sunday

A new spot for breakfast (as well as lunch, dinner and late-night snacks) will open in Rochester at 6 a.m. Sunday.

But while the location is new, it's not a new name for the city.

03042014dennys2After months of construction, Denny's will open its second Rochester restaurant on Sunday at 286 17th Ave. N.W. That's the former Krispy Kreme doughnut shop near the Miracle Mile Shopping Center.

"We are extremely excited to open our second Denny's in Rochester," Eden Prairie, Minn.-based franchisee Mija Landenberger said in an announcement. She also owns the Denny's restaurant at 1226 S. Broadway.

Landenberger said the new 24-hour location will be staffed by 80 employees.

03042014dennys2signThe franchisee bought the 4,800-square-foot, 10-year-old building for $1.15 million in April last year. It had sat empty since Krispy Kreme closed in January 2006, after a short run in Rochester.

Built in 2004, it stands between what is now Wild Bill's Sports Saloon and Hom Furniture. It's also near Holiday Inn Express and the Shoppes on Second business centers that house Cherry Berry yogurt, Topper's Pizza, Cousin's Subs, About Face, Rocco Altobelli Salon and Altra Credit Union.

Now the work is done and the bright yellow Denny's signs are up. Hot coffee, Fit Fare, Grand Slam breakfasts, Bacon Slamburgers and more will start rolling out of the kitchen this weekend.

"We look forward to becoming a local gathering place where our guests can always count on good service, a great atmosphere and, most importantly, delicious food," Landenberger said.

February 10, 2014

City Centre plans take shape

Titan Development and Investments officials, led by father-and-son developers Gus and Andy Chafoulias, have finalized plans for a six-story commercial complex with a roof-top lounge on top to be built in downtown Rochester.

CitycentresiteWhen buzz about the project began in May, it was described by Andy Chafoulias as a four-story building. However, Mayo Clinic's Destination Medical Center initiative plus news that the tenants in the nearby seven-story Associated Bank Building are being displaced spurred the developers to change their plans.

The project, now called City Centre One, was earmarked by the Rochester City Council in September to be included in the $2 billion in private investment promised to the state as part of DMC.

A special redevelopment tax-increment-financing district was approved by the city to raise $300,000 to cover the asbestos removal and demolition of the former C.O. Brown building at 300 S. Broadway. Once the prep work is complete, the site will be ready for demolition crews to clear away the old building to make way for the City Centre One.

Titan submitted a development plan to the city last week, which is the first detailed description of the complex since it was first announced.

Plans by Rochester's CRW Architecture + Design Group show a 34,371-square-foot, seven-story complex.

The street level of the building is expected to feature an Italian restaurant, created and run by restaurateurs Pat Woodring and Scott Foster. Woodring and Foster are the minds behind Chester's Kitchen & Bar and Pescara. That floor will be the largest at 5,144 square feet in size.

The second through sixth floors are all expected to house commercial office tenants similar those that now lease space in the Associated Bank Building. Each of those floors are slated to be 5,121 square feet in size.

Topping the structure is a 3,622-square-foot rooftop lounge, which also will be a creation  of Woodring and Foster.

February 05, 2014

Mayo Clinic still fishing for plans for ex-Red Lobster space

Mayo Clinic has strapped on its bib and is taking a hammer to its Lobster.

Mayo has crews doing interior demolition in the former Red Lobster space at Second Street Southwest and Broadway in downtown Rochester. However, Mayo Clinic says that Exredlobster there's no plan behind the work being done in former 187-seat seafood restaurant.

"The future use of that space is still not decided," said Kelley Luckstein, Mayo Clinic public affairs.

The 11,880-square-foot, street-level space at 200 First St. S.W. is in the 60-year-old Rosa Parks Pavilion. Mayo Clinic has owned it since 1997.

After 25 years of leasing the space, Red Lobster moved out in 2011 to take over a former stand-alone restaurant by the Apache Mall. At that time, Mayo Clinic officials said they were considering options for the prominent downtown corner.

They were still pondering in 2012, when Mayo sent in workers to remove the carpet, paneling, ceiling tiles and bar left behind by the restaurant.

That work permit was very detailed in describing the purpose." Just removing items for clean-up to get rid of fish odor," it said. "Future tenant not defined at this time."

This latest permit, filed with the city last week, is not as colorful nor specific. However, it did estimate the value of the interior demolition job at $65,000.

That's a lot of clams for work on a space that has been drifting along without direction for three years.

It seems that Mayo Clinic still is fishing for a definition for that phrase from the 2012 permit: "Future tenant."

January 30, 2014

Dunkin' Donuts rolling into Roch.

The deal is done and Dunkin' Donuts is rolling into downtown Rochester.

After months of rumors, the famous coffee and pastry chain officially is signed up to open on First Avenue Southwest in the Kahler Grand Hotel complex.

Simpsons_donuts-l1"We want to make sure the tenants we have are viable for Mayo's DMC plans," said Cherylanne Thomas, managing director of marketing for Richfield Hospitality in Rochester, Richfield manages the five Kahler hotel properties here.

"Obviously, Dunkin' is a great brand. They were looking to lease in the area. It seemed like a good fit," she said.

Thomas says a franchisee, Donuts Non Traditional LLC, plans to open a Dunkin' Donuts between Hanny's and Victoria's Italian Restaurant & Wine Bar. The move of Optical Vision with Flair into part of the Hanny's store is opening up the space for the doughnut maker.

Building permits for the project were submitted this week to the city. The rough timeline is for the new Dunkin' Donuts to open by late June or early July, according to Thomas.

This could be the first of an estimated 50 Minnesota locations the company would like to open in the next few years. Dunkin' Donuts hasn't had a presence in Minnesota for almost a decade. The final shop, which was in Austin, closed in 2005. The Canton, Mass.-based Dunkin' Brands announced its plans to return to the state earlier this month. 

At that time, Steve Rafferty, senior director of U.S. franchising, stated that the new locations would be focused around the Twin Cities metro areas as well as Rochester, Mankato and Duluth.

Rafferty said franchisees need to have a minimum of $250,000 in "liquid capital" and $50,000 net worth per location. Each franchisee is responsible for a territory with at least six locations.

Rochester's franchisee, Donuts Non Traditional LLC, incorporated in October. While Thomas describes it as being based in the Twin Cities, state documents list its address as the same as Rochester's Dunlap & Seeger law firm. It's not unusual for some companies to use their attorneys' address for such filings. Dunlap & Seeger also represents Kahler Hotel properties.

This is the latest in a series of tenant changes, some of which have spurred lawsuits from tenants unwilling to move. Javon R. Bea, the chair of the Kahler Hotel Group's board of directors, has been orchestrating the changes.

Thomas said Bea's goal is make the hotels better.

"Obviously, he supports both retail and restaurants in the community," she said.

The expectation at this point is that the new Dunkin' Donut location will be open seven days a week. Thomas added that the franchisee is planning on using the company's latest design concept for this location.

"It'll feel more like a cafe," she said.

January 21, 2014

Apache Mall applies to develop Scheels store, new restaurant

Here's some from an article I have in today's paper about Scheels, Sears, the Apache Mall plus plans for a new stand-alone restaurant by the water tower in front of the mall.

The full article will be on www.postbulletin.com and, of course, in print.

-------------

The hole left by the departure of Sears from Apache Mall appears likely to be filled by a Scheels All Sports store.

Plans to expand the mall's anchor spot to make way for the popular sporting retailer were submitted to the Rochester-Olmsted Planning Department last week. The plans also call for construction of a stand-alone restaurant nearby.

Scheelsmap1The plans show the now-closed two-story Sears store being partially demolished and expanded to 149,000 square feet for Scheels. Construction could close the mall parking lot roadway in front of the store, which would require a temporary road.

The development proposal also includes a new 9,000-square-foot restaurant building on the north side of the mall roadway near the Scheels project. The proposed building would be on the east side of the city water tower. While it's labeled as a restaurant, no specific name appears in the documents.
Scheelsmap2
Officials from the Apache Mall declined to comment on either the Scheels project or the new restaurant. On Friday, Jason Loney, Scheels' vice president of store development, said a final agreement had not been finalized between the North Dakota retailer and the mall. It's not unusual for participants in a development deal to delay signing until all official approvals are obtained

December 23, 2013

Ex-Hostess building sold for $720,000

Here's a real estate sale that has spurred my old cravings for Hostess SWonderbreadstoreno-Balls.

Don't judge me. I just can't resist those artifically colored, marshmallow skinned blobs of sweet, sweet calories. Heh.

Rochester's former Wonder Bread Hostess outlet store building at 406 37th St. N.E. for $720,000 on Dec. 18, according to county property records.

SnballsBuilt in 1990, the building has about 3,500-square-feet of retail space and an about 9,500-square-feet of warehouse space. It closed down, when Hostess imploded at the end of 2012.

I chatted with the new owner this morning and this sale opens the door for a regional business to expand into Rochester. This new name in town could eventually add up to about 10 to 15 new local jobs.

I'll have all of the details in the Heard on the Street column in Tuesday's Post-Bulletin. Just consider me Santa's little helper and the P-B as a present of information that can also be used as gift wrap.

In the meantime, I'd consider it a special gift if anyone out there can tell me if true Hostess Sno-Balls have ever returned to Rochester. If so, where can I find them?
 Thanks.