CBRE brochure showing a Rochester IHOP

A CBRE brochure shows a Rochester IHOP.

Hoping for an IHOP — International House of Pancakes — to pop up in the Med City?

Your Rooty Tooty Fresh 'N' Fruity dream might be coming true.

However, it's not official yet.

Rumors have been flipping around that the Glendale, Calif.-based breakfast chain had become very serious about lining up a spot in Northwest Rochester. Despite having 10 Minnesota locations, IHOP has snubbed the state's third-largest city for years as syrup-craving fans clamored for the chain.

IHOP representatives have made overtures to popular restaurants about buying them. IHOP also is rumored to be eyeing an open chunk of land between the under-construction Tap House West and First Alliance Credit Union's latest branch along West Circle Drive Northwest. That's just down the road from Five West Kitchen and the new Smoak barbecue restaurant.

A Twin Cities Realtor for CBRE, who is marketing that open spot, recently started posting materials that show an IHOP with an open, 3,000-square-foot commercial space next to it.

While that looks pretty official, IHOP is not confirming any Rochester plans.

“Franchisees are always actively looking for opportunities to build a new restaurant, but we don’t have anything specific to share at this time,” wrote IHOP Public Relations Analyst Austin Lewis in response to questions on Monday.

After chasing restaurant chains for about 20 years, my educated guess is that a real estate deal for the land has actually been signed. However, IHOP probably hasn't finalized its contracts and plans yet.

This might be a false alarm, but I'd say odds are good that an IHOP will eventually start cooking in Rochester, and that would be a good spot for it.

While IHOP fans are waiting, the Med City has a number of local places, like Five West, Rooster's Barn and Grill, Hollandberry Pannekoeken, Canadian Honker, Cheap Charlie's, Tonic, Grandma's Kitchen and more to order up some breakfast on a daily basis.

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 285-7798.

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