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15 posts categorized "Readers reporting"

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.

September 04, 2013

New BK to start cooking

The ever-alert Todd Schwartz spotted a sign on the new Burger King fast food eatery on Marion Road saying it's opening today (Wednesday, Sept.4).

6a00d83451cc8269e2017d3bf391ec970c-250wiThis is the new place built by franchisee Dolphin Corp. on a long empty chunk of land at the corner of 12th Street Southeast and Marion Road Southeast.

That spot is in front of the new Marion Road Business Center and the Kwik Trip station on Marion Road. It is across 12th Street from the Cub Foods Plaza, where Dolphin has a Burger King. The new BK is replacing its older sibling location.

Dolphin Corp. owns all three Burger King restaurants selling in the Med City. They're located along South Broadway and North Broadway, as well as in the Cub Foods center.

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.

 

April 25, 2013

Holiday to close the "runt" of SA C-store litter

It looks like the addition of Holiday gas stations to Rochester will mean the subtraction of a current station from the market.

The buzz going around South Broadway is that when Holiday takes ownership of the six SuperAmerica stations in Rochester on May 1, one of them will go dark.

ShowPhoto.aspxOfficials with Bloomington-based Holiday have not responded to inquiries about changes in the Med City. However, there is evidence to support this closing theory. Rochester building permits show that Holiday signs are going up at all of the Super America stations, except the one on South Broadway.

People in the neighborhood around the station say they are hearing the store is closing because it's the smallest in the batch. The 18-year-old Broadway station is 1,900 square feet. By comparison, SA's station on Second Street Southwest is about 1,500 square feet larger.

Of course, having a Kwik Trip station right next to the South Broadway SA probably didn't help its perceived viability.

If that station does go dark, it will be interesting to see what happens next. Holiday does have a history of selling its "surplus real estate," so there's a good chance that lot will go on the market.

For obvious reasons (see previous sentence about Kwik Trip), it will probably not become another gas station.

So what could go there? 

I'd say a coffee shop, small diner or even a fast food place (Dare I say… White Castle?) could be reasonable options for that high traffic area along South Broadway.

Even a bar might work there. Remember, Beer Bellyz is a converted Holiday gas station.

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.

Whhaaa....?

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.

October 16, 2012

Are Irish eyes eyeing Roch.?

While St. Patrick's Day is many months away, some Rochester folks are wishing that the luck of the Irish will bring their favorite pub to town.

The word is that staff at a well-known pub in a nearby state are telling Rochester customers that their Irish eyes are looking at the Med City for a possible second location.

Could such a Gaelic invasion really be on the way for Rochester or is this just some blarney from a server hoping for a bigger tip to add to his pot of gold?

I have no idea, but I plan on going to the end of the rainbow to find out.

July 25, 2012

Remembering Hanson - Chamber Golf

Today is the annual Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce golf bash at Willow Creek Golf Course.

It is quite a bash, if you haven't been before. And it is an event that I always associate with Denny Hanson, who we recently lost.

For many years, I worked with Denny as a source and as a friend. We had a friendly running competition over who had the freshest bit of business news.

DennyatgolftourneyI miss those exchanges. Beyond politics, which I truly have no opinion about, I know he was someone I always enjoyed interviewing.

Many years ago, I even tracked him around the golf course during the tournament for a quote on a business issue that was very sensitive at the time. Eventually, I got a very honest and blunt quote from him. He caught a lot of heat over that quote, but it never stopped him from talking openly to me.

Denny was always a super nova of energy right in the middle of the action at the golf tournament, laughing and joking with everyone orbiting around him. And yes, for those who remember last year's infamous costume, he sometimes crossed the line of good taste.

Like us all, he had lapses in judgement, but he was a very good man who cared deeply for his family and for community. Denny worked tirelessly doing what he thought was best for this community.

Hanson had a fierce appetite for life, which he embraced with a Captain and diet in hand and jolly laugh.

In memory of Denny and his love for the chamber golf tournament, here's a video of him butchering the song, "I Can See Clearly" back in 2009.

Thanks for the memories, Denny.

 

June 01, 2012

Olive Juice profiles 2nd Street Waver

This caught my attention Thursday when Rochester's Olive Juice Studios  emailed out their newsletter.

Olive Juice co-owner Scott Schoeberl and Jessica, who manages the photo studio, stopped on a whim to chat with Rochester's famous "2nd Street Waver."

Here's a little of what Kelly Schoeberl, who owns Olive Juice with her husband Scott, wrote about that visit plus, of course, some photos of the colorful Waver himself.

---------- 2ndStWaver_59ret

Scott and I have lived in Rochester for nearly 10 years.  Rochester is best known as the home and birthplace of Mayo Clinic and, to the dismay of some, the corn cob water tower.

The Rochester Convention and Visitors Bureau publishes a magazine, Experience Rochester, to promote the many amenities that make Rochester a "Best Place to Live" (Money Magazine).  And, if you ask someone on the street, they are more than happy to tell you where the nearest park, bike trail or golf course is.  What no one knows, however, is the story behind the guy on 2nd Street.

He stands on the sidewalk, wears the most outrageous outfits and happily waves at cars as they pass by.  We drive down 2nd Street every day.  It takes us to our gallery and it's the same road patients use when they visit Mayo Clinic.  Sometimes we see the "2nd Street Waver" in the morning and sometimes we see him in the afternoon.  No matte 2ndStWaver_35retr when, he always makes us happy.  So happy, we feel compelled to honk and wave back.

A few weeks ago, curiosity got the best of Scott and Jessica.  They had just finished a photo shoot and were driving back to the gallery when they saw him, the 2nd Street Waver.  Camera in hand, they stopped and introduced themselves (first name then last and middle, per his request).

Turns out, his name is Joey and he's 44 years old.

2ndStWaver_84retJoey has battled diabetes, high cholesterol and a depression that kept him locked in his apartment for years.  It wasn't until he "got a calling from God" that he went outside to wave. 

Joey wears a different outfit every day and gets limitless energy from the can of Pepsi he holds as he waves.  He taught Jessica to hold the can with 2 fingers outstretched to signify 2nd Street.  He also put his hats on her head and let her wave his flags.  He said she was the first person he ever let do so.

Joey hopes to start a movement.  Waving makes him feel better and he thinks people all over the country would feel better if they did it too.  It would be easy to dismiss Joey as "crazy" but we think he's pretty darn smart and can't help but wonder if the rest of us are the challenged ones.

December 29, 2011

Kiger's back and the blog is breathing again

I apologize to you all for abandoning this blog for so long.

I took a vacation and was pretty tied up even before I left. The result was that Kiger's Notebook was left barren for the longest stretch, since I launched it in March, 2005.

I couldn't stay away completely, so I did pop back in to do the CostCo piece and a few columns here and there.

RedjeffMost of my time away was spent on the banks of The Wabash in Indiana. A place Verizon as well as the rest technological world evidently do not know exisits. While I did zip out a few Tweets and email responses when the moon was in the right place, I was mostly out of the loop.

I apologize to everyone who sent me emails, voice messages, Facebook notes and direct messages on Twitter. I'll try to catch up. More than a 1,000 unread emails have piled up.

Anyway, I'm back now and revved up for the new year.

Please keep letting me know what you are interested in and passing along any business tips you might hear.

Look for lots of action on here in as 2012 kicks into gear and thank you for reading.

November 21, 2011

Is Thanksgiving shopping too much?

I'm writing a Black Friday shopping precede article.

Thanksgiving-turkeyThe hot topic seems to be the fact some stores are opening on Thanksgiving for shopping with Old Navy being open all day and Walmart opening at 10 p.m.

The bulk of other stores like Target, Best Buy and the most of the Apache Mall shops are opening at midnight, which is really only one minute away from Thanksgiving.

These moves have incensed many people and have inspired a wave declarations of the sacredness of Thanksgiving and outrage at this violation of the holiday.

• I'm looking for resactions from Rochester shoppers to this.

• Is this an abomination?

• Is it not a big deal?

• Are you going out to shop on Thanksgiving? Black Friday? Never?

• If you are going out early, what deals are drawing you out?