This is the second food truck/cart to lock down a brick and mortar home in Rochester in recent days.
Sometimes a dream becomes reality.
Earlier this year, Mario and Maria Mollina launched a taco truck on Rochester's North Broadway with their daughter, Jennifer Gordon. They call it Tacos El Sueno. El Sueno translates to The Dream.
Now the family is working to take their dream to the next level. They are opening a permanent Rochester restaurant called El Sueno Tacoreria at 1203 Seventh St. NW. That's across from the Northgate Center retail plaza.
"This has been my father's dream for a long time," said Gordon. "Hopefully, we'll open within a month or so."
The Tacos El Sueno truck now serves a basic array of tacos and burritos, but Gordon said that menu will expand significantly
"With the food truck, we're limited with what we can do. We'll be adding a lot more choices in the restaurant. My mother has a lot more homemade recipes," she said.
Once the restaurant opens, it will seat about 50 diners. The Molina family will staff it.
What will happen to their popular taco truck at 1005 N Broadway Ave. when the restaurant opens?
That's not clear yet, said Gordon. They really enjoy operating the truck, but the first priority will be staffing the restaurant. If they can't staff both, the truck will go dark until they can do both.
The name of a 92-unit apartment complex being built on the corner of Fourth Street and Third Avenue Southeast in downtown Rochester has been a sensitive issue for some of the neighbors.
South Dakota developer Stencil Homes labeled it Buckeye Apartments as a nod to the Buckeye Liquor store that was demolished to make way for the project. Some in the neighborhood didn't think that was an appropriate name. Now it looks like the developer has decided to try something different.
Stencil Homes' website shows a 92-unit apartment building as a Rochester project, but it's not called Buckeye anymore. The new name under the old rendering of the complex is Ovation.
This must have been a recent change. The Answer Man wrote about this on April 27 and Buckeye still was the moniker at that point. CEO Nate Stencil was not available Monday to answer questions about the Ovation name, but it looks like concerned neighbors should give themselves a round applause for the spurring a name change.
Looks like change is on the menu at Rochester's only Cajun eatery.
Joe and Theresa Peplinski's Lost Cajun restaurant at 2025 S Broadway didn't open its doors Monday. Signs out front and posted on the windows said the restaurant said, "Sorry. We're closed for remodeling. Stay Tuned..."
However, employees said they were notified by email Sunday night that the restaurant is closed for good. The Rochester restaurant is no longer listed as a location on the national Lost Cajun website. The Peplinkis also canceled advertisements by email, saying that the restaurant had "closed its doors."
The owners were not available for comment on Monday.
If the Lost Cajun is done, it's possible that another restaurant concept under new owners is in the works. That could explain the "remodeling" signs. At this point, it seems Rochester diners will need to do as the sign says and "stay tuned."
In the early summer of 2014, the Rochester couple was very optimistic when they opened The Lost Cajun. The southern flavored restaurant is a franchise based on the original Lost Cajun in Colorado.
They transformed a 19-year-old former SuperAmerica convenience store into a 1,900-square-foot restaurant with a bayou decor.
The Lost Cajun is known for serving up gumbo, beignets, chicory coffee, po' boy sandwiches and other authentic Louisiana dishes.
There's a lot of activity on the high-profile corner of 100 First Ave. SW in downtown Rochester.
The shiny signs are up, clothes are going up on racks and the new doors will open soon.
Primp, a popular Twin Cities boutique, is opening its first Med City store on Friday.
Owners Michele Henry and Wesley Uthus announced the opening on Monday.
"We're excited to announce our 7th location, in Rochester, MN, will be open this FRIDAY!… Can't wait to meet you all!," they exclaimed (hence the exclamation marks) on their Facebook page.
Primp carries a full array of women's apparel, from fancy dresses to denim and sweaters. Primp also stocks plenty of accessories, like handbags, jewelry and scarves.
It's tagline is 'Cheap, chic boutique.' Everything is less than $100. Most are items are less than $50.
The news of Primp coming to town broke in early October. It's stepping into the storefront which was the long-time home of the Rochester landmark, O&B Shoes. O&B marched less than a block away to 19 First Ave. SW in August.
"We were looking at a lot of places. But when this space came, we dropped all of the other locations," Henry said at the time. "There is such a great energy in downtown Rochester."
Darci Fenske of Paramark Real Estate Services brokered the deal to bring the brand into the Rochester market.
The name over the door at Rochester's 434 South Broadway is new, but everything else about the auto repair shop is the same as it was before.
The Eastman Auto Repair sign recently went up on the small shop along the Zumbro River, though customers of Zeus Auto Repair will find nothing unchanged, said Zane Zodrow.
Zodrow, who owned Zeus Auto, says he sold the business to Gay Eastman at the start of 2015. The new sign just reflects that sale. He remains the manager of the three person, full-service shop.
"It's all the same. Honesty is still our main thing. We still treat people how we would want to be treated," he said. "We offer the same warranties."
However, Zodrow does a see a change coming down the road in the future.
The shop's building, which is owned by local investors, stands where Associated Bank would like to build a branch. That proposed project is still scheduled to go before the Rochester City Council after being rejected by the Rochester-Olmsted Planning and Zoning Commission.
Whether the bank branch goes forward or not, Zodrow does anticipate that the current shop will be eventually be displaced by some sort development.
"We are looking for a new location," he said.
Zeus Auto Repair has operated at the prominent South Broadway location since 2010, when Zodrow moved from his previous spot on on Second Street Southwest.
A new boutique is bringing its quirky style to downtown Rochester this summer.
Camy Couture is slated to open on June 4 at 112 First Ave. SW, says owner Kim Shea. That's the high-profile spot next to O&B Shoes that previously housed Trademark Uniforms Inc. and About Face prior to that.
Darci Fenske of Paramark Real Estate brokered the deal.
Shea opened her first Camy Couture in Rochester's Shoppes of Maine area in 2013. She describes the store as having funky and unique women's fashions for "trendy moms and everybody else" at a reasonable price. It also carries accessories like handbags, scarves and sunglasses.
"We specialize in buying small sets. Once they are gone, they are gone. You don't see everyone around town wearing what you just bought," she said.
Now Shea is launching a second shop in the heart of Rochester's downtown.
"The opportunity came out of absolutely nowhere. It was too hard to pass up this location," she said. "The exposure of being downtown will help both stores."
She assures that new store will have the same "feel" of her at 4270 Maine Ave. S.E. Shea plans to have two on staff downtown. The Shoppes on Maine store is staffed by three, including her.
A long-time, family-owned auto shop is shifting gears to build a new home in southeast Rochester.
Tilson's Auto Repair, owned and run by Ben Tilson with his two sons, hopes soon to start construction of a new eight-bay, state-of-art shop on an open lot at 1740 South Broadway. That puts them between the 63 Club bar and Advance Auto Parts.
They hope to have the new almost 7,000-square-foot facility completed and ready to open this fall, possibly as early as September.
The elder Tilson has been repairing Rochester vehicles since 1984. In 2004, he moved into the four-bay shop in the Kmart building at 843 Third Ave. S.E. Now 11 years later, he needs a larger place with more visibility.
"The market changed. The dynamics have changed with DMC (Destination Medical Center)," he said. "As Rochester grows, we grow."
In the current location, he has six on staff including himself and his sons, Joe Tilson and the younger Ben Tilson. Once the new shop is completed, they hope to add four to six more employees to the staff.
The new shop will give the Tilsons access to some vehicles that are difficult to deal with now, added the younger Ben Tilson.
"We'll have bigger doors, which will make it a lot easier to work on bigger vehicles," he said.
The new location still will keep the shop in the area where they have long served customers.
"We wanted to stay in general area. Southeast is home," said younger Ben Tilson. "We want to be the predominant family-owned shop on this side of town."
Rochester's latest Italian restaurant is starting to heat up by opening a hiring office in the empty Paine Furniture building.
The Nova Restaurant Group, led by Chef Scott Foster and Pat Woodring, is crafting its latest downtown Rochester eatery to be called Terza on the ground floor of the new H3 Plaza building. They are also cooking up La Vetta, a rooftop lounge and club on seventh floor of the building.
Foster and Woodring are also the creative forces behind the nearby Pescara and Chester’s Kitchen & Bar.
Terza is not expected to be ready to open until after Memorial Day, though a pre-opening dinner is rumored to scheduled for late May. In preparation, Nova has launched a major hiring campaign in the Paine building across Broadway from the H3 Plaza.
They are interviewing job candidates as sous chefs, line chefs and servers. The office is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. through the week and noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday.
Woodring and Foster are known for their top shelf employees. They say the goal is to hire people with the "hospitality gene" and then train them well. Prior to opening of Chester's, they spent an estimated $50,000 to $60,000 on training.
Behind door #1 is a blast from the past plus a new name on Rochester's North Broadway block of consignment shopping.
Penny Bracken, known for her three Kismet stores on the 600 block of North Broadway, closed off the back third of the Kismet Home store with a sliding, barn-style door this winter. The mysterious door has spurred her loyal customers to speculate for months about what's behind it.
And now as spring slowly starts in Minnesota, Bracken is ready to unveil her winter project. The doors will officially open on Wednesday, though she isn't waiting until April 1 to discuss it.
"It's called Kismet Etc.," she said. "That's where we've been collecting hip, modern furniture and decor with that clean 'Mad Men,' Boho chic style."
Bracken says she and her staff have been watching the interest in this style grow over the past couple of years and they decided to create an area to spotlight it for shoppers.
"The trend right now is that people, especially young people, are really attracted to the clean lines of this mid-century style," said Bracken.
She also has changes planned for the exterior of the 611 North Broadway store. The name, Kismet Etc., will go up on the sign outside. That will make the lineup of stores on "Penny Lane" as Kismet Consignment Fashions at 601 N. Broadway, Kismet Central at 607 N. Broadway and Kismet Etc. at 611 North Broadway.
Besides opening the doors on Wednesday, a Kismet spring tradition also will happen on Wednesday. The new Kismet billboard will go up over the store. While "Chloe," the stylish woman in the hat, will still be part of it, a new circular wave design will make its appearance as Kismet's new logo. Look for Chloe to be holding it.
The long mural on the side of the 611 North Broadway building also will be updated to reflect the new look and style. Bracken is planning to take down about 16 feet of the current mural and have it replaced by new work by popular Rochester muralist Greg Wimmer.