Jeweler moves to the 'perfect place' for store in Rochester

Downtown Rochester is losing some of its sparkle.

However, another part of the Med City looks to shine even brighter with the move and expansion of Hight & Randall, a long-time local jewelry store.

"We love Historic Third. It is unique and special, but we've kind of outgrown our store here," says co-owner Barbara Hight-Randallof the upcoming move to northwest Rochester. "It is exciting, but also kind of melancholy."

She and her husband, Randy Randall, are planning to move in August to the C.O. Brown/ Home Federal Savings Bankcomplex at 19th Street Northwest and West Circle Drive.

"It is really is a perfect place for a jewelry store," she says.


While the 3,000-square-foot space is not that much larger than the store at 10 Third St. S.W., it will be all on one level.

That will allow Hight & Randall to expand its bridal diamond selection and add rooms to privately consult with customers.

The store will, however, keep its selection of estate jewelry that it is known for.

Details are still being crafted, but Hight-Randall says the new version of the store will be unique.

"When people walk in, it will be different than any other jewelry store they have ever seen before," she says.

Following the expected August opening, the pair plan to host a grand opening in the early fall.

They moved their store to the classic brick building on Historic Third Street in 2001. As the owners of that structure and the one next door that houses Jaspers Alsatian Bistro and Wine Bar, they plan to offer them both for sale or lease after the move.

Before any of that happens, expect a moving sale on Third Street at the jewelry store.


Hight & Randall will be the first retail business to go into the northwest Rochester commercial center. Developer Jeff Brownbuilt the 27,000-square-foot complex in 2008.

The recession then put the brakes on what was a hot and growing area in that part of the city. Now it is heating up again with at least three large commercial developments proposed along West Circle Drive Northwest and the new Lourdes High Schoolbeing built nearby on 19th Street.

"I'm very excited about the potential for that area," Hight-Randall says.

School time

The College of St. Scholasticais officially declaring class in session in downtown Rochester today with the grand opening and blessing of its new prototype hybrid campus.

Larry Goodwin, president of St. Scholastica, is speaking at tonight's invitation-only event at the new campus of the first floor of the Minnesota Bio-Business Center.

Besides comments from the college leaders, a blessing of the campus will be done by Sister Mary Rochefort.

St. Scholastica is leasing 2,222 square feet on the south side of the eight-story building at 221 First Ave. S.W. It has signed a five-year lease.


The design of the campus is a brand new one for the college. Labeled as "Base Camp," it can accommodate on-site classes and students as well as instructors. It also will provide online-only classes originating in Rochester and elsewhere.

It also features Café BlueStone, a new student union concept with the atmosphere and coffee products of a coffee shop.

Biz buzz

While Mother Nature seems reluctant to turn up the thermostat for some true spring temperatures, one downtown food vendor is preparing for sunshine-filled lunch hours and a Peace Plaza full of hungry and harried workers catching a quick snack along with some warm rays.

Rick "Murph" Murphyis prepping his popular hot dog cart with the intention to roll it out to the spot he has occupied for the past few summers.

First, the Rochester City Councilneeds to OK his license. That's on the council's agenda at its meeting Monday.

If that is approved as it has been since he started in 2006, Murphy hopes to be out selling dogs as soon as Tuesday.

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