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Heard on the Street: VFW buys new home for $800,000

File photo: Rochester's VFW Post 1215 has a purchase agreement to buy the former Golden Corral and Gorilla's Bar and Grill building, near IBM, for its new clubhouse.

Rochester's Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1215has closed on an $800,000 purchase of the former Gorilla's Sports Bar / Golden Corralbuilding to serve as its future home.

The VFW bought the 17-year-old restaurant building at 2775 43rd St. NW last week, and the state officially recorded the sale on Tuesday.

The purchase comes in conjunction with the VFW's sale of its downtown post building at 16 Sixth St. SW for $2.66 million to the University of Minnesota Rochester. The VFW plans to renovate the 10,361-square-foot restaurant and move the post there.

The 43rd Street building, which has been unused since 2010, was sold by Pohocogo LLC, of Rochester.

Pohocogo only had owned it for about six months, after buying it in May for $500,000. Pohocogo, which lists Paul VanTasselas its manager, bought it from MZ 43rd Street Properties LLC. MZ 43rd is owned by Rochester restaurateur Zheng Yu Zheng.


Zheng, who has operated China Starin Rochester, bought the building in 2011 for $1.06 million from Home Federal Savings Bank. The general belief was he was going to open a Chinese buffet there, but that did not happen and the facility remained unused.

From 2001 to 2010, the 43rd Street property housed three different restaurant / bar concepts, all led by the Nelsonfamily of Rochester.

The Golden Corralbuffet franchise cooked there from 2001 to 2007. In 2007, the Nelsons transformed it into Gorilla's Buffet and Amusements, though it didn't remain that for very long. It morphed into Gorilla's Sports Bar and Grillin 2008.

Amid the recession, Gorilla's Sports Bar closed its doors for good in 2010, and the ownership reverted to Rochester's Home Federal Savings Bank.

Biz buzz

Chatter is that a Rochester financial institution might be ready to close the account of its northwest branch.

I'll invest some time to find out if this buzz gets a red or a black mark in the ledger.

UMR pays $2.66 million for VFW Post building


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