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Heard on the Street: Kickstarter.com campaign fuels downtown shop

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Chris Hollowayis ready to press on with a new coffee & tea shop in downtown Rochester after the successful conclusion of crowd-funding campaign that raised $15,000.

The Kickstartercampaign wrapped up this last weekend, and that means Holloway is hard at work shaping up Press – Coffee and Tea Loungeat 315 S. Broadway. It's next to the new Canvas & Chardonnay.

What's his reaction to local backers ponying up $15,000 so he could put the finishing touches on Press?

"I think it really shows how much this is wanted in Rochester," Holloway says. "It tells me that people have confidence in the concept."

It also is a sign that downtown is undergoing a transformation.

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"Broadway continues to become more vibrant," he says. "More and more critical mass is building downtown."

Now it is up to Holloway to get it all perking along and serve Press up to the Med City.

He's painting, working on the bar and gearing up to re-finish the wood floor. Plus, he's starting to accept applications for employees.

He hopes to open as soon as late June.

In addition to the construction, Holloway is working out the menu of pastries, sandwiches and salads with People's Food Cooperative. People's is a future neighbor of Press, building a new grocery store with its own eatery a few blocks to the south.

He's also in talks with someone to provide an array of high-end desserts for the late-night, post-concert and post-play crowd.

Look for Press to be open until 11 p.m. every night. Holloway realizes that it is a little bit risky to see how people react to that, but a late-night spot for quiet conversation is something many people have been saying downtown needs.

He hopes to have live music at the coffee house two to three nights per week. The plan is be able to offer beer and wine in addition to coffee, tea and fruit juices.

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Roastery 7, a well-known artisan coffee roaster in Brooklyn Center, Minn., is lined up to provide the coffee. Nearby Mandala Tea, the loose leaf tea importer that recently moved to Rochester, will provide the tea.

He expects to have seating for about 40, plus a few more on a small back patio.

Jeff Kiger tracks business action in Rochester and southeastern Minnesota every day in Heard on the Street. Send tips to jkiger@postbulletin.com or via Twitter to @whereskiger. Call him at 285-7798.

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