A historic downtown Rochester building was purchased by local investors last week for $1.5 million.
Mike and A.J. Hawkins, a father and son business partnership, bought the empty 98-year-old building at 7 Second St. SW, which last housed Goonie's Comedy Club and the McGoon's Taxi Co. restaurant. The deal to purchase it from Mark Klampe and the other five owners wrapped up on Jan. 31.
Mike Hawkins says the plan is now to look for a new tenant.
"First off, we'll do some improvements to the building. We want to keep clean up the exterior and emphasize its historical look," he said. "We also have approval to connect into the skyway system on the east side (into the Rosa Parks Pavilion)."
That skyway link should make the property more attractive to potential restaurants, he said. Hawkins says they are already fielding interest from both local and national restaurateurs. The kitchen equipment from McGoon's is still in place and was part of the sale.
He hopes to be able to bring a quality, possibly mid-range, eatery into the building that could help meet the growing demand of the Mayo Clinic lunchtime rush.
The building dates from 1918 and originally was the Olmsted County Bank and Trust. It remained a bank until 1965. After that, it was home to Tinklers Restaurant from the 1970s to 1989, the Clubhaus Brew Pub from 1995 to 1997, and O'Neill's Pizza Pub from 2000 to 2005.
This buy follows up Mike Hawkins' recent sale of D&R Star Vending, to the largest vending firm in the U.S. While his family still owns the Family Fun Center, D&R Amusements and several other businesses based out of its 2207 Seventh St. N.W. facility., Hawkins said in December that he intended to use the proceeds of the sale to invest in more Rochester commercial real estate.
Goonie's closed in the summer of 2016with the intention of selling to Rochester Ventures, which is led by Rochester developer and Realtor Paul Meier and contractor Todd Severson. However, that deal, as well as a few others after, fell through.
While the real estate sale has been pending, Mark Klampe has been working to find a new home Goonie's weekend comedy shows. The crew at the Crooked Pint Ale House at 2723 Commerce Drive NW has stepped up to take in the orphaned comedy shows.
Final details of the Crooked Pint deal are still being worked out, but Klampe hopes to see construction of a stage begin soon. Once the stage is set up, he hopes to be able to line up Friday and Saturday comedy shows at the Crooked Pint, just as Goonie's once hosted.