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HEARD ON THE STREET COL WClassic Cuts building a much larger salon

This will be a whopper of an auction, but will another fast food chain add a local building or two to their kingdoms?

After sitting empty for more than two years, two former Burger King restaurants in Rochester along with one in Winona and one in Kasson are going on the auction block later this month.

That means the two high profile Rochester buildings at 615 South Broadway and 107 E. Frontage Road U.S. 52 North and the other two should have new owners after the Sept. 28 auction. It will handled by Maas Auctions of Rochester.

The current owner of the buildings is listed as Z's American Properties LLP, which has offices in St. Paul and Richardson, Texas. Z's American Properties has owned them ate least since 2003.

This is latest chapter in a fast food drama that started in the spring of 2005, when the four Rochester Burger Kings started using generic cups and napkins without the BK logo.

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Owner Girish Dharod of the Rochester-based franchisee Road Corp. said his business and Burger King's corporate office in Miami were in a dispute over to whom he could sell the restaurants. That led to the company pulling Road Corp.'s franchise at the start of 2005, so Dharod ran them without corporate support for more than four months.They closed in April of that year.

In June, Dolphin Fast Food, a Twin Cities-based company, took over Road Corp.'s BK franchisee and re-opened the restaurants at 1550 N. Broadway, 2602 S. Broadway and 1021 15th Ave. S.E.

The two buildings now up for auction were owned by Dharod's brother, who would not deal with Dolphin, according to owner Greg Dolphin.

So the former resturants –; the 4,521-square foot on Broadway and the alomst 3,000-square-foot along U.S. 52 North –; have sat empty with old Burger King ads in the windows.

Now that may change soon, depending how the bidding goes on Sept. 28.

Classic Cuts building a much larger salon

A self-described "old barber from back in the old days" is trying a new style in Rochester by building a salon that will include a coffee shop and wireless Internet.

Rick Emerson, owner of Classic Cuts in Rochester, is building a new 4,400-square-foot home for the salon at the corner of 10th Place and 37th Street Northwest.

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Emerson, who is contracting the construction himself, hopes to move in between mid-October and early November.

The new salon will feature 17 stylist chairs, a small coffee shop and " wireless Internet through the whole building," he says. He'll have 17 to 20 stylists, some as employees and some leasing chairs, along with three massage therapists and two to four nail technicians.

That is a big increase from the staff of 10 now working in the 860-square-foot salon at 318 Elton Hills Drive N.W.

" I'll be cutting my cost per square foot for $25 to $30 per square foot now to $12 to $13 a square foot," he says.

While the expansion will be an expected boost to the business, Emerson says the key to a successful salon is still its stylists.

"The stylists are your product and you've got to take care of your product," he says.

C.H. Robinson to open an office in Rochester

An Eden Prairie, Minn.-based transportation and logistics firm with an international reach, C. H. Robinson Worldwide, is opening an office in Rochester.

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The plan is to open an 1521-square-foot office at Suite 100 at 3428 Lake Ridge Place N.W. this week, according to Tracie Stoltenburg of C.H. Robinson. It has two employees.

The Rochester office will provide transportation services to companies with warehousing and freight needs, including delivery by truck, rail and air.

The branch manager is Kelly Cooper.

"Rochester has a solid, growing economy with many large employers in the area," stated Cooper in a news release. Our goals are to support and enhance state businesses, become a solid community member and help increase business commerce in the region."

C.H. Robinson has about 200 offices throughout the world.

Kiger's Notebook appears on Fridays in the Austin Post-Bulletin. Send questions or business news tips to jkiger@postbulletin.com or call 434-7350. Look for updates on his Web log at postbulletin.com.

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