Don't expect a return of the Golden (Corral) age in the Med City.
An announcement about the Golden Corral all-you-can-eat restaurant chain taking over ex-Old Country Buffet spaces in the Twin Cities had local buffet buffs celebrating last week. Rochester was mentioned as a candidate because it has its own empty ex-OCB spot.
While it looks as though the restaurant going into the open spot at 1300 Salem Road SW will be a buffet, the word is it won't be a Golden Corral.
Darci Fenske, of Paramark Real Estate, says she has brokered a lease deal for the restaurant space in the TJ Maxx & More Plaza. It sounds as if Golden Corral might have put in one of the nine bids for OCB space. If so, it didn't win.
The Twin Cities restaurateur who has locked up the spot still is working out his plan for the future restaurant, so he is keeping his plans under wraps for the moment.
The unconfirmed buzz is that he may be working on some version of an American/Chinese buffet.
Old Country abruptly shuttered its Rochester eatery in early March, along with a number of ones in the Twin Cities area, as part of its bankruptcy. The large restaurant at 1300 Salem Road SW has stood empty since then.
That left a hole in Rochester's food lineup similar to what happened when the beloved Golden Corral closed its restaurant at 2775 43rd St. NW in 2007.
The popular buffet chain had operated there for six years, until the owners revamped it into Gorilla's Sports Bar and Grill. After some attempts to change and find more customers, Gorilla's closed in 2010.