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Rochester's former Carlos O'Kellys building to fall soon

Ryan Gregory of Rochester Motor Cars filed permits last week to demolish Rochester's former Carlos O'Kellys restaurant building at 4825 W. Frontage Road NW in preparation for a renovation and expansion of the Rochester Mazda dealership.

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ROCHESTER — Rochester’s former Carlos O’Kelly’s restaurant days are numbered as a car dealership prepares to expand and reconfigure its display lot.

Ryan Gregory of Rochester Motor Cars filed permits last week to demolish the 7,000-square-foot building at 4825 W. Frontage Road NW in preparation for a renovation and expansion of the Rochester Mazda dealership .

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The Carlos O’Kelly’s eatery, the last in Minnesota, closed its doors for good in April. Rochester Motor Cars purchased the building in September 2021 for $950,000.

The permit shows that the plan is to make the dealership more accessible from the Frontage Road along U.S. 52 and be able to display more vehicles closer to the highway.

In 2021, Gregory explained the project.

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So internally, it's going to be a renovation and then the footprint is going to be expanded to the east and to the north,” he said. “The display floor itself is going to expand to the east and the shop is going to expand to the north.”

The end result will be a two-story showroom with space for more vehicles and more room in the dealership’s service center.

Rochester Motor Cars, which also owns Rochester Toyota, Rochester Ford and Rochester Chevrolet Cadillac , opened the Mazda dealership in 2012. The Twin Cities-based Lupient Auto Group previously sold Saturn and Mitsubishi vehicles there.

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 Around Rochester," 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. Send tips to jkiger@postbulletin.com or via Twitter to @whereskiger . You can call him at 507-285-7798.
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