A downtown Rochester bar, which leases space from the City of Rochester, has been notified that its lease will end to clear the way for proposed development.
Jeff Fieseler, who owns Legends Bar and Grill at 11 Fourth St. SE, announced on social media that the city had notified him of the change.
“It is with a heavy heart that we announce that Legends will not be reopening,” he wrote. “On Monday, we received an email from the City of Rochester stating they would be moving forward to terminate our lease in preparation of putting a development plan together for the property on which Legends sits.”
He did not elaborate about when the lease will end or any details about the proposed development referenced by the city notification. City officials say they are working on a statement about the project.
Legends has leased space in the AFL Labor Temple, since 2011. Another bar, Gilligans, leased the space for four years prior to that.
This latest push to end Legends lease due to development plans harkens back to 2015, when the Rochester City Council granted Bloom International Realty exclusive rights to discuss a proposed $100 million development the on city-owned riverfront property between Second Street Southeast and Fourth Street Southeast. That land includes the Legends building.
While that project eventually fell apart, it has long been understood that Legends was living on borrowed time.
In his announcement, the Legends owner also referenced the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on his business.
"It’s been a tough year dealing with the closures and restrictions placed on us by Governor Walz for the Covid pandemic. We anxiously waited to see what Governor Walz would say in his briefing today and if and when would we be allowed to reopen. The announcement came just a couple days too late," Fieseler wrote.
Legends Bar & Grill's food-and-beverage license was suspended for 72 hours in November by Olmsted County Public Health Services' environmental health team due health and safety hazards related to COVID-19 guidelines.