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1399 posts categorized "Retail news"

August 17, 2016

Miracle Mile project to be unveiled soon?

579781715a9e4.imageWhile there has been no official word about the proposed grocery/apartment complex project at Rochester's Miracle Mile Shopping Center, it looks like it is on the agenda of Thursday's meeting of the Committee on Urban Design and Environment.

CUDE is slated to hear about the "Miracle Market Mixed-Use Project," according to the agenda. No other details are listed. This project is expected to involve the mysterious, unnamed owner of the Miracle Mile shopping center and Nate Stencil of Stencil Homes, who has a number of apartment complex projects in Rochester.

No word yet on what grocery chain will occupy this possible building.

August 11, 2016

The end is near for Rochester's Nelson Cheese

After more than 30 years of selling sandwiches on Rochester's Broadway, Nelson Cheese Factory is planning to call it quits.

LsHowever, the exact closing date of the small deli at 210 North Broadway still is being determined.


"I'm not sure yet when it will close … maybe next week," owner Ed Greenheck on Wednesday. "I do know that soon there will no longer be a Nelson Cheese Factory in Rochester."


Greenheck is hoping to find a buyer to step in and re-open it as a di Nelsoncheeseclippingfferent eatery. The deli has two employees in the small spot in the Disons Cleaners building on North Broadway.

He cited several reasons for the closure, including the high
er costs of doing business in Rochester as well as Minnesota, competing with Mayo Clinic to hire employees and focusing more on the growth of their Wisconsin locations.


Rochester's Nelson Cheese is a satellite of the 158-year-old cheese factory in Nelson, Wis. The Greenheck family opened the Med City shop in the 1980s. It was located at 506 N. Broadway until an expansion of Marigold Foods, now Kemps, forced them to move.

The deli reopened at 210 N. Broadway in 1988, where it has served Mr. T and Old Fashioned sandwiches ever since.

August 10, 2016

Back in the groove - the return of vintage vinyl

Vintage vinyl is back on Rochester's Broadway.

It all started when Hussein "Huss" Esmailzadeh began selling old records in his Man Cave Consignment store in the 21th Century Building at 2130 S. Broadway. It didn't take long until the growing popularity of vintage vinyl overshadowed everything else in his store.

"I decided to split off and open Rochester Records. I'm phasing the Man Cave out of the physical store and moving it online," said Esmailzadeh.

Products--element32He's re-organizing the building, which he owns, to open up about 2,000 square feet for the record store. While the change is in process, he is open and has about 7,000 to 8,000 records, CDs, cassettes and DVDs available for sale. 

Rochester Records also offers an album locator for people looking for any particular disc from the past.

Esmailzadeh expects to really turn up the volume soon. A consignment dealer out of the Twin Cities is bringing down about 50,000 records to sell in the near future. He also is lining up eight-track tapes, reel-to-reel movies and other vintage media for the store.

Next to him, Rochester's Just for Kix dance studio is moving in and preparing to start classes in September. The studio previously was located downtown in the Conley Maass building, which has been renovated into office space and for a new restaurant, the Bleu Duck Kitchen.

The return of vinyl brings back memories of when Rochester had several chain music stores as well independent ones carrying used records and CDs, like Broadway Records and Face The Music

 

August 03, 2016

Baby steps - Diaper store grows up

They grow up so quickly.

Vicki Walker's one-year-old business, Pockets & Pins cloth diapers and accessories, has outgrown its storefront at 324 Elton Hills Drive NW in theValhalla Plaza.

"We're out of room. We really need more space," Walker said.

13909218_1738849196383086_4215152734666310767_oThe growing popularity of the cloth diapers and other more natural new baby products has spurred a growth spurt for the one-woman Rochester business.

Walker has lined up a new, 1,029-square-foot spot in Suite 1 on the ground floor of the tan stucco house-like commercial building at 521 N. Broadway, next to Broadway Car Care. The building is owned by Rochester Realtor Amy Lantz.

"It's at least double the size of the current store," she said.

Look for Pockets & Pins to toddle to its new home at the start of September, exactly one year since Walker first opened the doors of her den of diapers in Valhalla Plaza. 

She plans to use the additional space to expand her store's offerings.

"I'm bringing in more natural items for a new pregnancy and postpartum section," Walker said. "And I plan to add maternity clothes to the consignment section."

Did she expect to have outgrown her first store within a year?

"Actually, this is kind of what I planned from the beginning. I'm kind of right on track," Walker said. 

 

July 08, 2016

Old Abe Coffee to park the cart, open a shop

A high-profile member of Rochester's small food/drink cart community has lined up a permanent home.

Old Abe Coffee Co., which serves cold brew coffee and unique food, is a familiar sight in downtown Rochester. Now Abe Sauer is planning to set up shop in a fixed address near Rochester's Cooke Park. He eventually will move into a house-turned-commercial building at 832 Seventh St. NW. Westwood Realty last occupied that spot.

Old+abe+serving+4The new place will be called Old Abe at Cooke.

"I am very happy to announce Old Abe is playing fair and is now a property tax-paying Rochester business," stated Sauer via email. "Old Abe at Cooke will be an extension of what I have been doing on the trike. Fun and food and fun food (and our popular cold brew coffee). It will be goofy. Maybe a little unpredictable."

Beside serving coffee and food, he wants to create a bike-friendly, fun spot for families near a park and the growing Cooke Park arts district.

"I hope to create a social space for the neighborhood and Cooke Park users. Activating Cooke Park will be a goal as it’s one of Rochester’s best located parks, on the bike path, and canopied in shade," he wrote. "In particular, I want to create a place for young families that will, if all goes as planned, include a dedicated kids playroom so parents can enjoy their meal without fighting a toddler at the table. It will also include an expanded menu influenced by both my own vegetarian-leaning diet and my many years in Asia."

Sauer doesn't have a timeline for parking the cart and opening the new shop. The first step will be renovating the 1950s house with the help of Rochester architect Adam Ferrari of 9.Square. He estimates the earliest he'll be able to open is later this fall.

So why the decision to park his anachronistic coffee trike/cart?

"First and foremost, I needed space to grow. But also I want to create something distinctly geared for the thousands of younger families in Rochester that often get lost in the food and beverage landscape. I also want to create a fun space for Rochester residents that are NOT focused solely on the downtown and immediate area," said Sauer.

 

June 10, 2016

More Dunkin' Donuts coming southern Minnesota

Two years after making a flashy return to Minnesota with a Rochester shop, Dunkin' Donuts has signed a franchise agreement to bring three more locations to the region.

The Massachusetts doughnut maker announced Thursday that it has signed a deal with new franchisees Oliver Schugel and David Schooff to open three new restaurants in Mankato. The first one is slated to open in 2017.

06232014dunkindonutsMankato is leaping ahead of Rochester, which was expected to have about five locations by now. 

Rochester Retail Services, a division of the Kahler Hospitality Group, opened a shop here in June 2014 at 15 First Ave. SW in its Kahler Grand Hotel complex in the heart of downtown. It was the first one in Minnesota since 2005. Dunkin' said then that Rochester Retail Services would be opening five more shops in the next few years.

That changed last fall, according to Dunkin' Donuts Senior Director of Franchising Patrick Cunningham.

"Rochester Retail Services, the franchisee of record, will continue to own and operate the existing restaurant in the Kahler. However, they will not develop more Dunkin' stores as we previously reported," he said in October.

When announcing the coming Mankato shops, Dunkin' said franchise opportunities remain available in Rochester. Plus, "to help fuel additional growth in the market, special development incentives are available."

In Mankato, the new franchisees have more than 45 years of combined experience in business and real estate development.

“We have a passion and loyalty for the Dunkin' Donuts brand and look forward to opening our restaurants in the years to come," stated Schooff. 

June 06, 2016

Developer to pay for extension on Golden Hills School deal

A Twin Cities-developer interested in buying an old Rochester school building says it needs more time to put a plan together.
 
GoldenhillschoolRyan Cos. signed an agreement last fall to buy the former Golden Hill School building for $1.8 million from Rochester Public Schools. The empty 36,000-square-foot building is located at 2220 Third Ave. SE.
 
Mark Schoening, Ryan's senior vice president of national retail development, described the tentative plans in September as "…Bringing additional retail to that part of Rochester."
 
However, Ryan Cos. did not complete its due diligence on the property by a May 31 deadline. That's why the Rochester School Board is slated to vote on a request from Ryan at tonight's meeting to extend that period to Sept. 30. Ryan is willing to forfeit $25,000 in "earnest money" to pay for the extension.
 
Assuming the school board approves the extension, Ryan pledges that if needs more time before Sept. 30, it will forfeit another $25,000 to extend the deadline to Dec. 31.
 
 
 

June 03, 2016

Forager spreading out into market space

After less than a year in operation, Rochester's popular Forager Brewing Co. gastropub is outgrowing its space.

The hipster-friendly beer, coffee and food place plans to take over space within its 1005 Sixth St. NW building that now houses the Kutzky Market retail area.

"We just need more room, so we're going to re-organize," said co-owner Annie Henderson.

Kutzky-market-logoThe plan is to close the 1,200-square-foot market area at the end of June and start moving beer-aging barrels into the space in July. Beside beer storage, the space will be used as a customer waiting area as well as a public art space with a small retail piece.

The market, which features many local handmade items and antiques, has eight vendor booths. 

"A lot of them already have new homes. Some are moving into the Dwell Local (store)," she said.

The shift also opens up room for Forager to host a local art galley and music performances.

"There will be a lot of new programing over there. After C4 (nonprofit Rochester art collective) closed, it has been tough for local artists to find free space for events," said Henderson. She previously served on the C4 board with her Forager co-owner, Sean Allen.

May 23, 2016

Auto Techs to close at end of June

After 24 years in the fast lane, Roger Gansen is ready to slow down a bit.

Gansen has owned and run Auto Techs, a repair and sales shop, in Rochester since 1992. He has operated at his current location at 650 S. Broadway for about 12 years.

11146464_358227187720296_512149979420663139_oNow he has a "Closing soon" sign out front as he prepares to sell his property to the Lamont Cos. He plans to close the doors of his two-man shop at the end of June.

"It's kind of tough," said Gansen of the closure.

However, part of him is looking forward it.

"I'm ready for a change," he said. "I think this is kind of an opportune time for it."

The big question is will he re-open the popular Auto Techs somewhere else. That's a question he really doesn't have answer for.

"As of right now, everything is up in the air," Gansen said on Friday. "But right now, I'm looking forward to slowing down a bit."

While he is slowing down, the activity on that block of South Broadway is quickly ramping up this summer.

Lamont Cos. are the developers who recently purchased the adjacent Clarion Inn for $5 million with plans to build a newCandlewood Suites hotel and retail center. A liquidation sale of all of the hotel's furnishings and fixtures is underway.

Based in South Dakota, Lamont Cos. are the same developers who built Rochester's Holiday Inn by the Miracle Mile shopping center on Second Street in 2012.

April 08, 2016

New Rochester art gallery is thinking big

Wendy Westlake has a big vision for 535 Gallery, her new Rochester art gallery.

"The concept is for large-scale contemporary pieces as a service for designers and the general public looking for a distinctive statement piece to make an impact in a large space," explained Westlake, as she took a break from converting a former industrial space into an art gallery.

04072016535galleryWith the help of her gallery director, Nick Sinclair, Westlake is working on the new gallery at 535 Sixth Ave. N.W. in Rochester's artsy Cooke Park Design District. The more than 2,000-square-foot gallery will share the block with the funky Dwell Local art and antique shop as well as Fox & Fern Floral and A Beautiful Soul, a New Age Boutique and healing store.

They hope to open the doors some time this summer. Realtor Dylan Carty, of Rochester's Realty Growth Inc. (RGI), handled the deal to line up that spot for 535 Gallery.

Westlake's 535 Gallery is located between the imported car repair shop, Werkstatt 533, and Auto Refinishers Plus.

"We think this Cooke Park area is a good place for us to be. We like what it is becoming," she said. "Though it is kind of a strange place to be sandwiched between two auto places."

Westlake and Sinclair caution that people should not expect a gift shop or even a place like the recently closed SEMVA (Southeastern Minnesota Visual Artists) gallery. It will specialize in paintings and mixed media pieces with interior designers in mind, though it also will be open to the public. They envision the large artworks in both local residences and commercial spaces.

They are adding a designer's room to the gallery for meetings with interior designers and their clients.

"It'll be a nice space where we can show them our catalog of art," said Sinclair.

The plan is to host 10 exhibitions featuring two local or regional artists every year. 

SEMVA, which was downtown near Mayo Clinic, was popular with visitors. Westlake expects 535 Gallery to serve a different group of customers, because of the size of its art and its location.

"We want to be an art gallery for Rochester," she said.