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Heard on the Street: Med City retailer's firing up a new showroom for grill masters

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A longtime Rochester business is firing up a new showroom to get things cooking in area backyards.

Energy Products and Design, a hearth and fireplace retailer, is opening a "BBQ Store"showroom on Saturday attached to its headquarters at 497 37th St. NE, said co-owner Christy Buchan.

The new 1,100-square-foot showroom has about 25 grill models from makers such as Saber Grill, Louisiana and Everdure with related gear and 40 types of barbecue sauces and 30 types of spice rubs. They also carry wood chips, smoking bricks and various fuels like charcoal, pellets and gas for use in grilling.

"Up until now, there was not a place in Rochester to go to find everything you need for grilling," said Buchan, who owns the 41-year-old business with her husband, Brent Buchan.

On Saturday, the Buchans are hosting a grand opening from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., with several grills fired up to cook sample burgers and hot dogs plus a bounce house and slide for the kids. There will also be a raffle for a Saber Grill.

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While Energy Products has long carried some grills and equipment, this new showroom represents a new commitment to helping people in the Med City area enjoy grilling.

"We have such a short summer here, but we grill year round, even if it’s 10 below," she said.

"Barbecue" Brent Buchan is known as a co-host of the "Grillin’ and Chillin’" segments on KTTC-TV with Wildwood Sports Bar & GrillOwner and Chef Jim Nicholas.

Biz buzz

In September, Mayo Clinicannounced "a strategic collaboration" with a Singapore-based luxury hotelier Pontiac Land Group to add a seven-story hotel plus four clinical treatment floors on top of its Gonda Buildingin downtown Rochester.

The Pontiac Land Group is led by the Kwee family, one of Singapore’s wealthiest families. Lisa Clarke, the executive director of the Destination Medical Centerinitiative’s Economic Development Agency, has stated that no public assistance, such as tax-increment financing, will be requested to support the project.

Once completed, the proposed project will make the now 21-floor Gonda Building into Rochester’s tallest skyscraper with the hotel on top.

No more details about the Gonda hotel plan have been released since the announcement last fall.

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When asked about the status of the project, the Pontiac Land Group responded that it’s still in development. "The project is progressing, and we hope to share some updates soon," wrote Pontiac Land Corporate Communications manager Orphelia Huangin an email.

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