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A big change is coming to the corner of Historic Third Street and Broadway Avenue in Downtown, Rochester. Nellies on 3rd is closing.

According to owner Nelson Leung, their final day open will be June 30, 2021. The catering arm of the business will remain open until the end of December 2021 in order to honor all of their catering commitments. Tessa's Office Wine Boutique will remain in the same location and continue to operate as usual. 

(James Rabe)
(James Rabe)

In a press release Leung said,

"It has been an incredible journey...The staff, guests and community have made a lasting impression on us and we are honored to have been a part of the hospitality community for all these years. We are forever grateful to our team for sticking with us through this difficult last year."

What was once the long-time location of Wong's, has been three restaurants since 2006, all owned and managed by Nelson and/or Tessa Leung and, in my opinion, three wonderful additions to Rochester's culinary world that inspired other entrepreneurs to step up and offer something new to Rochester's hospitality industry.

Texmex Tortillas
Alexander Shalamov

First, Sontes opened in 2006. It was Rochester's first really new style restaurant, certainly Rochester's first Tapas (or appetizer-sized dishes). Items like Blue Crab Deviled Eggs, Grilled Quail, Shrimp and Pork Egg Rolls, Duck Confit and family Paella (which was totally available at 2019's Thursday's Downtown...that's how popular it was).

Sontes closed in 2014 when it became Grand Rounds Brew Pub, according to some reports, the first Brew Pub in Rochester in 20 years.

Credit: James Rabe
Credit: James Rabe

Great food and beer produced on site. That gave way to Nellie's on Third fully owned by Nelson Leung when Tessa Leung and Ann Fahy-Gust opened South x Southeast Minnesota Brewing Company in Pine Island (law doesn't allow a brew pub and a brewery to be owned by the same person).

Today, Monday June 1st, (2020) is a big day for Grand Rounds. It's the first day in years it isn't going to open it's doors for business. Instead, a new restaurant and bar'll open. Called Nellie's On Third Kitchen and Bar, the ownership is new, too.

After 14 years downtown, Grand Rounds owner, Tessa Leung moved the Grand Rounds brewing business to Pine Island and started the South by SouthEast Brewing Company (SxSE) with Ann Fahy-Gust and their loyal investors. (See more about SxSE by clicking HERE.) Read More: New Rochester Restaurant Open In Grand Rounds Location

Fortunately, the prime location in the 145-year-old building will not be empty Leung...,

"ThaiPop, a popular pop-up and micro-restaurant, will be moving into the Nellie’s space and plans to open to the public as a full-service restaurant in the fall of 2021."

More on ThaiPop soon!

As always, if you have a comment, complaint, or concern about something I wrote here, please let me know:

Listen to James Rabe and Jessica Williams 6a to 10a on Y-105 FM's Early Morning Show.

Rochester is a fun town, made that way in part by businesses like Sontes, Grand Round, and Nellies. Also fun, picking a nick name for the giant Ear of Corn Water Tower...

15 Suggested Names for Rochester's Ear Of Corn Water Tower

The Ear of Corn Water Tower is now owned by the people of Olmsted County, so maybe its time we name it? What do you think of these suggestions?

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