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Northwest Rochester restaurant to get sporty with new addition to its patio

Workers are busy at Smoak, a “modern Texas-style BBQ restaurant” at 2291 Commerce Drive NW, tearing up concrete and asphalt to add three or four beanbag or cornhole game lanes to the restaurant’s popular patio area.

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Smoak BBQ on June 23, 2021.
Ken Klotzbach / Post Bulletin file photo
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ROCHESTER — A Northwest Rochester restaurant is getting sporty with an addition to its outdoor patio.

Workers are busy at Smoak , a “modern Texas-style BBQ restaurant” at 2291 Commerce Drive NW, tearing up concrete and asphalt to add three or four beanbag or "cornhole" game lanes to the restaurant’s popular patio area.

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“We’re enhancing our outdoor space,” said Rocket Restaurant Group co-owner Ryan Brevig. “It’s something we wanted to do from day one. We finally worked out how to make it happen.”

The bag lanes will be located near the front entrance of Smoak. The game lanes will be covered in an artificial turf that is soft enough for bare feet, according to Brevig. There will also be additional tables and seating in the game area.

The patio and the restaurant will remain open during the work.

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“This week has been the demolition, which is the messiest part. It will be cleaned up soon,” he said. “It should be done by mid-July or so.”

The Rocket Restaurant Group, founded by 1997 John Marshall High School alumni, opened the 5,600-square-foot Smoak restaurant in late 2019, not long before the COVID pandemic. The group also owns the nearby Five West Kitchen & Bar .

It also owned The Loop in downtown Rochester, which closed in 2020 . That bar's former space in the 318 Commons building is now occupied by a University of Minnesota Rochester student lounge.

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 . You can call him at 507-285-7798.

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Jeff Kiger writes a daily column, "Heard on the Street," in addition to writing articles about local businesses, Mayo Clinic, IBM, Hormel Foods, Crenlo and others. He has worked in Rochester for the Post Bulletin since 1999. Readers can reach Jeff at 507-285-7798 or jkiger@postbulletin.com.
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