Rochester, Minnesota (KROC-AM News) - Five downtown Rochester restaurants received concrete barricades today to outline the extended dining area, signifying the opening of the outdoor dining season.

The first round of barricade placement began at 8 a.m today. The five restaurants that initially received the barricades include Bleu Duck Kitchen, Café Steam, Chester’s Kitchen and Bar, Pasquale’s Neighborhood Pizzeria, and Potbelly Sandwich Shop.

The use of barricades to extend the outdoor dining areas into alleys, parking spaces, and delivery lanes was developed last spring in response to COIVD-19 indoor dining restrictions.

Teams from the City of Rochester, Destination Medical Center, the Rochester Downtown Alliance, and local architects worked quickly with businesses to find and permit unique locations to maximize outdoor dining capacity. The concrete barricades which were selected for providing safety to outdoor diners at street level were enhanced with potted flowers and custom painting by local artists.

“We were so impressed with the rapid work of everyone involved to create beautiful new
outdoor dining spaces that Rochester had never seen before. Our downtown patios were a high point in a very challenging year, and we’re very excited to see them return,” said Holly Masek, RDA executive director.

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“The allowance of outdoor seating last year not only helped us retain those customers that would have otherwise been turned away due to the reduction in seating but helped us create an additional event space that allowed us to observe COVID precautions without infringing on customer experience,” said Will Forsman, owner of Café Steam. “We are excited to see the return of outdoor seating options this year, and plan to make the addition of a performance stage to allow for more regular musical performances which were one of our favorite parts of the patio last year.”

Photo Courtesy of Will Forsman
Photo Courtesy of Will Forsman


Additional barricades may be placed later in the season as restaurants continue to apply for outdoor dining permits. Downtown Rochester also has many other outdoor dining opportunities, including rooftop patios, retractable rooftops, bistro tables and chairs in our plazas and parks, and sidewalk café style seating.

Guy Fieri has been to many restaurants in Minnesota, but which Rochester restaurants should he visit? Check out five of them below! Which should we add to the list?

5 Rochester Restaurants Guy Fieri Should Visit

Guy Fieri has been showcasing restaurants all over the country for the last 15 years on his show ‘Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives’. If the Food Network star decided to make a visit to Minnesota’s Med-City which restaurant, do you think he’d feature? Below are five that I would pick. Open our app to chat with us and let us know which area restaurant you’d select for the show. 

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