Company finds the right Tools to set up shop in Rochester

It looks like a national tool retailer is tooling into Rochester.

Harbor Freight Toolsis hammering away at a long-empty store in the commercial center on the northwest U.S. 52 frontage road.

This is a 15,000-square-foot space last occupied by Petcobefore it moved across U.S. 52 to a spot by Sam's Club. Until the move, that shopping center near the Minnesota School of Businesswas called Petco Plaza.

Wonder if the name will change to Harbor Freight Plaza now?

There aren't many details on this project yet other than the building permits, though the Camarillo, Calif.-based Harbor Freight is advertising to fill store management jobs here.


Harbor Freight, which is known for its tool catalog, has more than 300 stores across the U.S.

It has locations in St. Paul, Minneapolis and Duluth.

So it makes sense that they are now moving into the third largest city in the state.

Petco moved in 2009 and the large space has sat empty since then.

Family on move

The district office of American Family Insurancein Rochester is preparing to move to a new space in the Olmsted National Bankbuilding.

Work is under way on a 830-square-foot office on the second floor of the large banking and office complex at 927 34th St. N.W.

Olmsted National built its five-story, distinctive building at U.S. 14 and Olmsted County Road 22 in 2005.


Fusion's cooking

On Wednesday, Tien "Tinn" Danhopened the doors of his latest Rochester restaurant — Far East Fusion.

He and his wife, Sophanny Prum, converted the former barbecue place at 4180 18th Ave. N.W. to house their latest creation.

The Fusion part of the Far East Fusion means the menu includes dishes from the cuisines from China, Vietnam and Thailand.

Tinn is also the man behind Tinn's Grilled Philly Steak Subs, which is in the Northwest Plaza.

He started out as the grinning grill master at the Grand Junction Grillback in the days of the third-floor food court in the downtown Galleria Mall (now University Square).

Biz buzz

Lots of chatter out there in the Med City these days.


It is hard to tell hopeful speculation from the early stage proposals and the done deals.

One topic I keep hearing about from a variety of sources is grocery stores.

It seems that the various commercial developments mapped out for northwest Rochester have opened the door for someone to plug up an empty space on the local retail map.

While one or two names keep coming up, it appears that there are a few players hoping to claim a spot.

And there is also buzz of a wild card off in left field that could significantly change the landscape.

I'll keep checking out this swirling mass of grocery guessing to see if anything takes shape.

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