Heard on the Street: Event coordinators to launch new downtown Rochester showroom

Two local event planning and rental businesses are getting together to open a new showroom in downtown Rochester.

Under the umbrella of T. Welke & Co., the Creative Sideand Mid America Conventionsare bringing the party to the Med City.

But that's not all.

Look for their showroom in the former Baby Clementinestorefront on the Peace Plazato also take care of business with the experience and equipment to handle meetings, events and conventions.

"A single point of contact for all of our different types of clients and hopefully attract new types of clients,"says Christina Welke, a co-owner of T. Welke & Co.


For the past eight years, she has focused the Creative Side on Weddings and fund raising events from her headquarters in Elgin. Bryan Carlsonalso runs his related Mid America Conventions firm out the Elgin space.

While they will remain based in Elgin, the new showroom will raise their profile and extend their reach, Welke says.

"This will make us more centrally located for our clients," she says. "The new location will provide a convenient space for clients to meet with the team to develop an event strategy."

The new firm of T. Welke is owned by Carlson, Welke and John Stenglein, who manages the financial and organizational matters for the operation.

Look for displays of specialty lighting, seating, table settings, linens  and other event equipment they offer for rental in the new downtown Rochester showroom.

Work is under way at the Peace Plazasite. They hope to be in the new digs by early August.

Welke, Carlson and their team offer a wide-variety of services — floral design, event strategist, planning, event management and rental.

"We do a lot," she says.


Their number of employees ranges from three to 20 or more, depending on the event.

Biz buzz

On the north side of the Med City, building plans for the new Texas Roadhouserestaurant started wandering through official channels like a cow looking for the sweetest patch of grass in the pasture.

The plan calls for a 6,995-square-foot restaurant to be built in the parking lot of Rochester's Northwest Plaza shopping center along 55th Street Northwest. That's the center that's anchored by Walmart North and Sam's Club.

This project first rode into Rochester in February when the Rochester Planning and Zoning Commissionunanimously branded the project as "OK."

Now that the plans are trotting through the city's official chutes, it is possible construction could begin before school starts again.

I'll ride herd on this to see what other details I can round up.

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