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Pappy’s to celebrate 10 years of business as Restaurant Week begins in Rochester

“When I stepped out on my own it was a big jump,” said owner Chris Pappas. “My wife and I definitely tried to bring everything that we learned from my family with both of their restaurants."

Pappy's Place
Owner Chris Pappas on Monday, Jan. 16, 2023, at Pappy's Place in Rochester.
Traci Westcott / Post Bulletin
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ROCHESTER — Launching a restaurant is hard business and not every venture can make it to the 10 year mark, especially after the global pandemic that impacted the hospitality industry.

But Pappy's Place has come out the other side of COVID thriving.

The eye-catching restaurant, right on the frontage road of U.S. Highway 52 N at 16th Street, celebrates its 10th anniversary in a couple of months after opening in March 2013 under the ownership of Chris and Sheila Pappas.

Chris Pappas, who is a part of the same Pappas family that owned and operated Michael’s in downtown Rochester and the Hubbell House , opened Pappy’s as a restaurant of his own. His goal was to experiment with new food items while still keeping a menu similar to that at Michael’s or the Hubbell House.

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“When I stepped out on my own it was a big jump,” Pappas said. “My wife and I definitely tried to bring everything that we learned from my family with both of their restaurants. The two have been well-known for their supper club dishes, your steaks, your filets; we want to expand the audience with burgers and our salad bar.”

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The salad bar has turned out to be the life blood of Pappy’s according to Pappas. Thanks to the salad bar, a popular family name in the local restaurant scene and making the best food out of quality ingredients continues to bring in new people to this day.

“We definitely put a strong emphasis on quality ingredients. We find out after 10 years that people are still discovering us every day that never heard of us. They're still discovering our doors and 90% of people that come through are very satisfied with our food here,” Pappas said.

The dining experience at Pappy's runs the gamut from classic American burgers at the bar to classy filet mignon at the table.

One goal Pappas had from the start was to make his restaurant unique among those run by his family by creating a hub for Minnesota Vikings games.

Pappy's Place
Pappy's Place on Monday, Jan. 16, 2023, in Rochester.
Traci Westcott / Post Bulletin

Whether the Vikings were up big or down — such as their great comeback game against the Colts on Dec. 17 — the key to creating a great sports bar atmosphere, Pappas said, is to give them more than just big screen TVs.

Sheila Pappas works with Universal Sports Auctions out of Bloomington, Minnesota, to bring in sports memorabilia of the Vikings and all other pro-sports teams for patrons to bid on. It's a partnership that is a win for the fans, a win for Pappy's and a win for a pair of Twin Cities hospitals.

“We had a mutual acquaintance get us connected after they told me Pappy’s was a big time Vikings bar,” said Mitch Allore, an auction specialist with Universal Sports. “The restaurants we partner with, they'll get a percentage of the money earned from the auctions and then another cut of proceeds are given back to St. Jude’s Children's Hospital in St. Paul and the University of Minnesota Fairview Hospital.”

Pappy's Place
Pappy's Place on Monday, Jan. 16, 2023, in Rochester.
Traci Westcott / Post Bulletin

With the 10th anniversary approaching in March, Pappas is planning for a week-long celebration from Friday, March 10 to Thursday, March 16 that will lead the celebration into one of the busiest days of the year for a bar: St. Patrick’s Day.

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While preparations for that week are still underway, Pappas has joined Pappy’s in with Experience Rochester’s first ever Restaurant Week .

“It’s nice to see this come together so that every restaurant across the city can have the opportunity to advertise and grow their audience,” Pappas said.

Pappy’s Place is open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays and Tuesdays, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sundays.


Pappy's Place

1635 US-52, Rochester, MN 55901

507-258-4550

pappysplacerochester.com


Theodore Tollefson is a business reporter for the Post Bulletin. He is originally from Burnsville, Minn., and graduated from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls with a bachelor's degree in journalism in December 2020. Readers can reach Theodore at 507-281-7420 or ttollefson@postbulletin.com.
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