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16 posts categorized "Mantorville news"

March 06, 2015

10 years of blogging Rochester

On March 4, 2005, I wrote my first blog post. Kiger's Notebook blogo 2x

It was my sixth year at the Post-Bulletin. I created the "Heard on the Street" column about three years before the blog began. 

More  than 6,200 posts, stacks of columns, mountains of tweets and many gray hairs later, I'm still here writing about business and things vaguely related to businesPhoto on 2015-03-03 at 18.11s in southeastern Minnesota.

It'syou, the readers, who make this career such a fulfilling and entertaining one. Thank you everyone for your feedback, criticism and support over these past 10 years. 

10 years of blogging Rochester

On March 4, 2005, I wrote my first blog post.Kiger's Notebook blogo 2x

It was my siPhoto on 2015-03-03 at 18.11xth year at the Post-Bulletin. I created the "Heard on the Street" column about three years before the blog began. 

More than 6,200 posts, stacks of columns, mountains of tweets and many gray hairs later, I'm still here writing about business and things vaguely related to business in southeastern Minnesota.

It's you, the readers, who make this career such a fulfilling and entertaining one. Thank you everyone for your feedback, criticism and support over these past 10 years.  

October 29, 2013

Something new at The Old Rooster

After being in business for 28 years, something new will happen at a Rochester store that specializes in old things.

The Old Rooster Antique Mall at 106 N. Broadway will get a new owner on Friday, when Ron Ruport takes the reins of the business.

OldroosterRuport, who's a part owner of Mantorville Square Antiques in Mantorville, is buying The Old Rooster from Gordy and Virginia "Granny" Kranz.

The Kranzes opened the mall there in 1985. Prior to that, they owned antique malls in Mazeppa and other spots in Rochester's downtown. The Old Rooster name originated when the couple ran an antique mall in the former Richard's Roost restaurant building on First Street Southwest.

"I've known Gordy and Granny for a long time," says Ruport of how he came to buy the mall. "This mall gets good traffic, especially from Mayo Clinic patients."

The mall currently has 12 dealers with two more on their way. Ruport says that will still leave room for a couple more dealers.

While he has no big changes on the way, the new owner plans to freshen up the mall with touches like new paint. The major innovation he is bringing in is the capability to accept credit cards.

One thing won't change much and that's the Kranzes. While they won't be the mall owners, they aren't retiring, says Gordy Kranz. He and his wife will remain on as dealers in the mall.

Kranz, a retired Rochester police officer, says the many years running The Old Rooster have been good ones.

"We've got good dealers that price items fairly. We don't have any hot shots," he says. "It's been interesting. People come in, look around and find something they are looking for. Then they're happy. If they don't find anything, they still had fun looking and it didn't cost them anything."

August 13, 2013

Fudge evidently coming to Roch.'s 11th Ave.

The eagle-eyed and intrepid David Ferber spotted some sign painting on Rochester's 11th Avenue Northwest today and tipped me off to the action.

08132013artfudgebudilingI need to get out more, because I had no idea anything was cooking at the HSL Building at 612 11th Ave. N.W.

Someone painted a very nice logo sign on the side of the industrial building today for Minnesota Artisan Fudge.

The 20,000-square-foot complex was sold to 612 11 Ave. NW LLC at end of Dec. for $150,000, according Olmsted County property records. I wonder if that's right. 

I don't usually track commercial property sales under $300,000. I may need to adjust my methods.

The beige concrete block building that's a few feet from the railroad tracks is also sporting brand new, shiny Hayfield Windows. Construction seems to be underway inside.

Minnesota Artisan Fudge seems to be based, or at least connected to, Mantorville.

It looks like I need to do some sniffing around for chocolate. Heh.


July 06, 2010

Fat Willy's revving up

This time around Bill Henderson is in the driver's seat as he gears up a new hot rod of a bar-and-grill in south Rochester.

Henderson, who has managed the Mayo Civic Center concessions for Canadian Honker owner Joe Powers for the past seven years, is cooking up a place of his own called Fat Willy's.

It's being put together in a commercial building across from the Wehrenberg Galaxy Theater in the Shoppes on Maine development along U.S. 63 South.  "This something I've always wanted to do," said Henderson, who is retired from Mayo Clinic and has worked with Powers since he opened the Honker in 1985.

With a hot-rod garage theme, the 3,500-square-foot Fat Willy's is expected to take off from the starting line in September. Look for the menu to feature hamburgers, fries and sandwiches.

"Basically we'll be 092607shoppes onmainelampsjkserving bar food, but we'll also do some unique stuff like shrimp boil specials and broasted chicken," he said. "We just want to make it a fun place where people can sit down, have a beer, good food and shoot the breeze."

092607galaxycinejk Inside it will seat about 125 to 130 people and another 65 to 70 on a large patio that has a fire pit and outdoor bar.

"With that pond and waterfall out there, it is just a heck of a nice atmosphere," Henderson said.

Why the name?

"Everybody has always called me Willy," he said with a chuckle. "

And, well, I'm not the slimmest guy in the world."

Fat Willy's is also an homage to the classic 1941 Willys Coupe, known for its wide rear end. Henderson estimates that he'll have about 15 on staff.

April 24, 2009

Hubbell House to re-launch lunch

Remember when I wrote about the Hubbell House in Mantorville discontinuing lunch on weekdays?

After lots of comment from the community, owner Don Pappas has made to plans to re-launch lunch.Hubbell_text

And he sees it as more than just adjustment to his business schedule. He hopes it will be seen by others as a spark, a flicker of light in dark economic times.

"I'm trying to be optimistic," Pappas says. "Let’s try to get this thing going again."

I'll have more on this in print Monday.

December 31, 2008

More on Hubbell House dropping lunch

Here's my print story on the Hubbell House change:

Due to the economic downturn and changes in area dining trends, Mantorville’s Historic Hubbell_text

Hubbell House is taking lunch off the weekday menu.

Starting Tuesday, the 154-year-old restaurant will no longer serve lunch Tuesday through Friday. Lunch will still be available on Saturday and Sunday starting at 11:30 a.m.

“We’re not happy about it, but we feel we need to do this,” says Don Pappas, co-owner and operator whose family has owned the restaurant since 1946. “The economics of it warrant it.”

He cited the recession hitting his lunch crowd’s pocketbooks as well as competition from casinos for bus tours as two reasons for the change.

While it is not what they’d like to change, it does return the classic eatery to its “roots” as a supper club.

“For our first 30 years, we were a supper club,”  he said.

That changed in the 1970s, when they added lunch service.

“The lunch trend has been on a downward move for a few years now,” Pappas says. “The peak was in the late ’80s and early ’90s.”
The plan is to open at 4 p.m. on weekdays. The Hubbell House is closed on Mondays.
Pappas plans to make the early dinner specials “more special” to help ease the switchover.

Pappas has more than 90 people on staff.

“These modifications will allow the Hubbell House to concentrate more on the weekend and evening hours,” he said.

December 29, 2008

Hubbell House to change dining hours

407838733ZiRXzb_fs Here's some from a release about a change coming to the Hubbell House in Mantorville.

Beginning Tuesday, January 6,  the Hubbell House in historic Mantorville, Minnesota will stop serving lunch on weekdays and will begin opening at 4: p.m. Tuesday through Friday. The Hubbell House will continue to open at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday and will serve continuously through the evening hours. 

The changes are a reflection of evolving customer trends, coupled with the current economic crisis. 

These modifications will allow the Hubbell House to concentrate on the weekend and evening hours.


Worth noting too, the Hubbell House, in its current inception, did not begin serving weekday lunches until the mid 1970’s, some thirty years after its grand reopening in June of 1946. This was long before the advent of casinos and other forms of tourist related ventures, all with a share of people’s discretionary income in mind. Now, times have changed and it has come full circle and will return to its original supper club roots.

March 03, 2008

Mantorville Saloon's new deal

The Mantorville Saloon is sporting a new look under a new owner.

Steve Williams bought the Mantorville Saloon, which is across the street from the Hubbell House, from Dick Schwanke.

“Basically, when I was selling liquor, I used to sell to the Mantorville Saloon and I always thought it was a tremendous opportunity,” said Williams on why he made the move.

Williams, who also owns Pine Island Liquor Store/Sports Bar and Dominic’s Pizzeria, took over the saloon on Feb. 13.

His plan is to offer live music and entertainment on Friday and Saturday nights.

“If you provide atmosphere and entertainment, people will stay here rather than drive to Rochester,” Williams said. “That’s why I like smaller communities”

The saloon seats around 100 and Williams has 12 on staff.

October 18, 2007

Iraqi prez + Hubbell House

The Hubbell House in Mantorville recently added another famous signature to its guest book.
Iraqi President Jalal Talabani ate at the historic restaurant during a recent visit to Mayo Clinic, according to the Dodge Center Star Record.

A translation of his note was printed in the newspaper:

"We had a good night and delicious food.

It's a good restaurant and good service. I hope you grow more, and I greet the employees and the owner.
You guys deserve to have a democratic country like America and I'm happy to see restaurants like this in America.

I hope you succeed more in your work."