The truism that road construction is a business killer may not be so true for downtown Rochester. Several businesses have recently opened or are about to despite a major rebuild of Main Street through the heart of downtown.
"It's like nothing we've ever seen. We are busier this year than all of last year," says Kristi Trevarrow, executive director of the Rochester Downtown Development Authority.
The project is expected to be finished July 20, Trevarrow says. The closure of Main Street started in early April and involves completely rebuilding the road, including unearthing the original brick road, and adding new amenities, decorative details, and energy efficient features. The decorative details such as planters won't be in until September, she says.
Some of the businesses coming to town:
The Meeting House, a restaurant owned by two guys with impressive restaurant backgrounds. Owners Jason Moon and Chris Johnson bought the whole building at 301 S. Main St. and will use the outdoor patio and first floor for dining and the upstairs for private events, Trevarrow says.
Carrie Lee's is expanding from its popular Lake Orion location to 227 Main St., former home of Fuse Lounge & Bar.
Mama Mia's will serve a Tuscan menu on the site of Fortesa, 543 Main St., which closed last year. It was approved for a liquor license this week, Trevarrow says.
Dublin Fish & Chips moved in about a month ago, she says, after deciding a downtown location was better than a shopping strip in Macomb Township.
The trend of self-serve yogurt with a buffet of toppings comes to Sweet Island Yogurt, which is at 404 Main and undergoing renovations.
Also recently opened, and getting lots of traffic (the good kind), is Moon River Soap Co., which purchased a building at 339 East St. to replace its location in New Baltimore.
"It's been absolutely wonderful," Trevarrow says, "even with the construction."
Source: Kristi Trevarrow, executive director, Rochester Downtown Development Authority
Writer: Kim North Shine