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474 posts categorized "Just for fun"

May 08, 2014

Scheels construction springing along

05082014scheelsworkDuring the intermittent bouts of spring weather, construction crews working on Rochester's new Scheels All Sports mega-store are taking the ball and running.

05082014scheelssignWhile it looks like there's plenty of work yet to be done before it opens in April 2015, Apache Mall already has added the future new anchor to its marquee sign. Scheels is gutting/re-constructing the former Sears store.

The first construction pic is from this morning. The second one is from April 1 and third one is from March 19.01042014scheelsatapache

The planned 140,000-square foot store is expected to add between 120 to 180 new jobs to Rochester.

"It will still have a fudge and coffee bar and a mini bowling alley. It will carry fashion clothing and shoes for women and men as well as athletic clothing and shoes for men and women. Th19032014scheelsatapacheat's all in addition to our the entire hard line of sporting goods," said Scheels' Jason Loney.

The development for the expanded store also includes Apache Mall adding 9,000-square-foot restaurant site on the east side of the city water tower. 

There's no word yet on what restaurant might be planned for that site.

March 21, 2014

DMC origins stem from lunch chat six years ago

For the first part of two DMC sections, I chatted with Dr. Glenn Forbes, Bruce Fairchild, John Wade, Jeff Korsmo and Lisa Clarke about the evolution of the concept of the Destination Medical Center.

DMCMy article tracks the journey of the idea from a casual lunch conversation in March 2008 to DMC's appearance in the 2012 sales tax vote and the unveiling of the full concept in 2013.

Obviously, the idea of the City of Rochester and Mayo Clinic working from the playbook is not a novel idea in the Med City. Some at Mayo dismissed my use of this luncheon chat as a startng point. However, they weren't about to offer any better dates as begin DMC's genesis other than the formation of Mayo Clinic 250 years ago.

Unfortunately, the DMC section wasn't quite large enough to accomodate an article that tracked each milestone since 1889, so I just went with the March 2008 conversation.

Here's a little bit of what turned into a very lengthy article. Check out the rest in this weekend's DMC section.

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Destination Medical Center is such a common topic in Rochester today that it's hard to keep in mind that the concept has only been known publicly for just over a year.

But the concept that grew into the $6 billion DMC initiative appears to have started with a chat at a Virginia conference center about six years ago.

Flag01-bdyjpgThat conversation was in March 2008 at Mayo Clinic's National Symposium on Health Care Reform at Lansdowne Resort in Leesburg, Va. The place was bustling with national leaders in the health care business. Representatives of the presidential candidates were there, promoting their health-care reform plans.

But not everyone at the conference worked directly in health care. Mayo Clinic flew out two local business leaders — John Wade, then-president of the Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce, and Bruce Fairchild, then-regional director of Interstate Hotels in Rochester — as guests.

Since November 2007, Wade and Fairchild had been talking about developing a plan to bring the community and its largest employer into sync to serve more efficiently the thousands of people who stream into Rochester. While it wasn't a new idea, a move to formalize such a plan was gaining momentum. Amid the action at the symposium, the pair decided they should share their ideas with Mayo Clinic.

They asked to meet with Mayo Rochester CEO Dr. Glenn Forbes, without much expectation that he'd have time to meet.

"But true to form, Dr. Forbes took the time, and we had lunch together," Wade said in a recent interview. Forbes was Mayo Rochester CEO from 2006 to 2009, and "his very nature is to be collaborative," Wade said.

The three met in a restaurant at the Lansdowne conference center, and their lunch unexpectedly turned out to be a long one.

It started with the trio "blue sky, brainstorming ideas," said Fairchild, who now manages hotels in Texas. But the talk quickly picked up momentum.

"We were getting increasingly excited about the possibilities," said Forbes, who is now retired from Mayo Clinic. "The lunch went over several cups of coffee for about 2 1/2 hours."

March 19, 2014

Flamingos + Elks = Bingo

After months of waiting, a Rochester nonprofit finally has scored permission to move to a new home.

Flamingo Bingo, which raises money for the Rochester Senior Center, has been given the green light by the Minnesota Gambling Control Board to move into the Elks Lodge 1091 at 1652 U.S. 52 North in the Hillcrest Shopping Center.

FlamingobingoIt's moving out of its long-time leased home at 2828 U.S. 52 North, which was sold to Luther Automotive Group in January.

Deb Nusbaum, Flamingo Bingo's charitable gaming manager, says the bingo center will call its final game at its current site at 1 p.m. on March 30. Then, Nusbaum and her team of 16 employees will move the operation.

She plans to kick off the new round of games at the Elks Lodge on April 4. Work on the new Flamingo Bingo site is underway.

The Elks Lodge members are very positive about bringing Flamingo Bingo into its facility, according to the club president.

"It's multi-faceted for us," said Chris Holloway, when the plan first was announced in December. "We have an excess of space that we don't use on a daily basis. We're both charitable organizations. There's a lot of crossover in our clientele. Plus it brings in additional revenue."

ElkslodgeNow that the move is in motion, the question is what will happen to the 42-year-old building where Flamingo Bingo has been been based since it opened in 2007.

Twin Cities-based Luther Automotive bought the building for $950,000 on Jan. 17. Luther also owns the nearby Park Place Motors dealership on the same frontage road.

Luther's Linda McGinty said the company does not have a specific plan for the site yet.

McGinty, director of real estate and development at Luther Automotive Group, declined to discuss whether its possible plans could include an expansion of Park Place Motors or possibly bringing a new dealership into the market.

However, she did acknowledge that Luther will "probably eventually remove the building."

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.

November 21, 2013

Cowboy Jack's may win Western logo shoot-out

Western-themed restaurants and bars have been hot lately in Rochester.Texas-roadhouse1

We now have Texas Roadhouse, Wild Bill's Sports Saloon, Whiskey Creek Wood Fire Grill, Whiskey Bone's Roadhouse and the latest high plains drifter to ride into town is Cowboy Jack's Eatery. 

Cowboy Jack's is part of a Twin Cities chain and is slated to open soon within the former America's Best Value Hotel on South Broadway.

LEach has its own take on a rough and ready Western atmosphere.

 

However, going just by logos alone, it looks like the the latest addition to the Med City corral could be the toughest hombre ever seen in these parts.

 

• Texas Roadhouse has kind of 60's diner look with a cowboy hat wearing state. Eyecatching.

•  Wild Bill's invokes the whole tin star thing with sort of sheriff/ U.S. marshall/ ranger feel. That's a strong logo. 16418249_BG1

• Whiskey Creek goes with a flaming campfire design invoking cowboys around a fire after a day of driving cattle across the prairie.

 

 

• Whiskey Bones has an Elvis in a 50's diner thing going on, sort like the restaurant that John Travolta took Uma Thurman in "Pulp Fiction."

Whikbones

And then there's Cowboy Jack's.

• There's a skull of a Texas longhorn steer with

glowing red vengeful, demonic eye sockets and fangs. Very macho and a little spooky.

And then there's the crossed meat cleavers behind the skull that are actually DRIPPING BLOOD.

Cowboyjacks

Uh... yeah... OK. That's an insanely intense logo.

That's the roughest, toughest logo of the crew. That logo paints Cowboy Jack's as the guy in the black hat who shoots first and then stands with one scuffed boot on the chest of his victim while he casually lights a cigarette.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

September 25, 2013

Spooky store gears up for the scary season

Travis Mueller wanted to know about this store, so I jumped up and checked it out for him. If it matters to Travis, it matters to me. Heh. Anyway, here's what I found out:

09252013spirithalloweenSpirit Halloween is opening its doors this evening in the former Best Buy South store in the Shoppes on Maine area.

The store was just putting the final touches on its front decoration at about 4:30 p.m. today. I was told that they'd be open by 5 p.m.

This seasonal retailer will sell masks, costumes, fake blood and everything other ghoulish thing needed to celebrate All Hallow's Eve through Oct. 31 (AKA Halloween).

Meanwhile, on the other side of the Med City, Halloween Express, is has moved into the former Amish Furniture store on Bandel Road.

August 09, 2013

Rochester's 'Dirty little secret'

DeparturesarticleSince today is the first official meeting of the newly established Destination Medical Center Corp., I was looking at some travel articles on Rochester and Mayo Clinic.

I stumbled across a "Special Report" by Departures magazine, which is an American Express publication.

It was written by Aimee Lee Ball for this year's March/April quarterly issue, so it is pretty up-to-date. What makes this notable is how the article characterizes the community and Mayo Clinic.

It actually starts with a Mayo Clinic doctor talking about how many people try to smuggle monkeys onto an airplane. "Monkeys on a Plane" would probably be a better movie than "Snakes on A Plane." Heh.

Anyway, here are a few excerpts:

There’s no Ritz-Carlton in Rochester, Minnesota—no Four Seasons or Mandarin Oriental or Peninsula, either—and the city’s idea of an Italian restaurant is the Olive Garden. This is the dirty little secret behind any visit to the Mayo Clinic: You’ll get world-class medical care, but it’s the badlands for eating or sleeping.

When asked about where to eat, one Mayo physician advised, “My house,” and shared the name of a well-stocked market three miles away.

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800px-Gonda_building,_closer_upMayo has been an iconic (and ironic) name in health care for more than a century—a place surrounded by cornfields but considered the gold standard or the last-chance saloon by royalty (both actual and media-ordained).

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Everyone at Mayo seems to have drunk the Kool-Aid, including the electrician who frets about the most convenient placing of outlets and the cleaning woman who declares that she saves lives (if she’s keeping the room free from infection, she’s right). “We’re not known as the heart place or the cancer place or the knee place,” says Dacy. “We do all those things, but we’re known for comprehensive care, and people work together in this collegial way. The customer service philosophy is powerful. We have a dress and decorum committee—you won’t see unshaven doctors in scruffy scrubs like on the TV shows, and the reason is to respect patients.” Monkey bites and all.

May 09, 2013

Not Westminster, but CeleBARK promises fun for dogs, familes

When the contests include worst doggy breath and owner/pet lookalikes, you know it isn't the Westminster Dog Show.

50edebd513994.imageHowever, you can bet your last collar that Saturday's CeleBARK Your Dog Day in the "backyard" of Rochester's Eagle Club will be a lot more fun for both pets and their families.

Pam Miller, owner of the mobile Bone Appetit Canine Bakery Unleashed, is sponsoring the family-friendly event to honor beloved dogs of all kinds, even those that might have a bit of halitosis. People are encouraged to bring well-behaved dogs that are up-to-date on their vaccinations.

Look for local celebrity judges Marcia Fritzmeier and Dr. Vicki Hunt to brave the bad breath, measure the longest ears and select the most similar dog/owner pair.

Fritzmeier is the handler of Mayo Clinic's popular therapy dog, Dr. Jack. Likewise, Hunt works with the therapy dog, Hershey. Hershey is known "Mr. June" from his appearance in the Rescued Dogs Calendar put out by Paws and Claws.

To help mark the first anniversary of the mobile version of her gourmet dog treat business, Miller wanted to host a fun and different kind of bash.

"I'd like it to become kind of a signature event," she says.

For the humans, both young and old, there will be games, contests, demonstrations and food. There even will be a treasure hunt similar to the Rochesterfest Medallion Hunt.

While fun is a big part of the fest by Bear Creek, it also will be about helping dogs find homes with good families.

"Part of my passion is to try and help rescue groups with their mission," says Miller.

Six rescue groups from Southeastern Minnesota will show off dogs available for adoption, as well as raise money to support their organizations.

While Miller has been locally-known for her homemade, preservative-free dog treats, she began driving her canine bakery and dog accessories shop on wheels to Rochester dog parks last summer.

"We go where the dogs and their owners are," she said.

Miller prides herself on offering the most current and unique products for dogs and the people who love them.

She says CeleBARK is just another way to help her business stand out from the pack.

Woof.

Tag: Columnist, blogger and reporter Jeff Kiger tracks business action in Rochester and southeastern Minnesota every day in Heard on the Street.
Infobox headline: CeleBARK Your Dog Day
Infobox text: BACB Unleashed is sponsoring the free event. which is open to families and their well-behaved dogs.

• Saturday.

• From 11 a.m. to  2 p.m.

• Behind the Eagles Club at 917 15th Ave S.E. in Rochester.

For more information, go to www.BACBunleashed.com.

April 26, 2013

With weather warming, hot dog man to return to downtown

It feels as if the weather finally has taken a turn for the better and maybe, just maybe, the dogs of winter are leashed again for at least a few months.

That means it's time to start relishing the spring days in the Med City again.

6a00d83451cc8269e2017c328b3ea7970b-250wiAnd what better way to do that than with downtown Rochester's gem, Murph's Diamond Dogs. On Monday, Rick Murphy plans to roll out his cart and start serving hot dogs for the hungry packs hunting for a quick and tasty lunch.

Look for the genial Murphy with his ball cap and stainless steel cart at his usual spot in the Peace Plaza by O & B Shoes.

The Pine Island man and his cart have added flavor to downtown for eight years.

That means he has been around downtown longer than the University of Minnesota-Rochester, Sontes, Chester's, the Minnesota BioBusiness Center, 300 First, Social Ice, 318 Commons, Big Brad's, Hot Shots! and lots of other changes.

He was already selling dogs when people started saying "Rah-Rah" about Rochester.He was downtown long before it became "The Place To Be." He was here when DMC was just part of the name of an '80s rap group.

Quite simply, downtown is Murph's turf.

With sun shining and people buzzing around the plaza, it'll be good to have him back where he belongs.

January 10, 2013

S.E. Minn. is a pretty inventive area

Wrote the latest version of the annual IBM leads all other companies with U.S. patents story for today's paper.

I always enjoy the change to chat with some of IBM's master inventors and look at their patents. I often don't understand much, but I enjoy it. Heh.

This year I decided to see how many patents issued in 2012 included residents from area cities. I found some interesting stuff, including the fact a group of guys from Hormel in Austin were issued a new patent on a bacon bits making process on Christmas Day.

I hadn't look at these community numbers, since I wrote a big package in early 2010, where I determined that Rochester was the most inventive city inMinnesota and probably the U.S. (per 100,000 residents).

It is interesting to note that Rochester people had 488 patents issued to them in 2009, so the numbers have gone up considerably since then. I may need to take a run at this story again.

 

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This is a breakdown of how many patents issued in 2012 included at least one inventor from these southeastern Minnesota cities:

• Rochester — 652 patents

• Byron — 42 patents.
Patent-Office
• Stewartville — 10 patents

• Austin — 75 patents

• Mantorville — 27 patents

• Zumbrota — 12 patents

• Pine Island — 36 patents

• Dodge Center — 10 patents

• Lewiston — 14 patents

• Oronoco — 38 patents