Discover Downtown Rochester

How to park for free in downtown Rochester

Through December 31, when you shop, dine, or support a service or experience business downtown, get a three-hour free parking voucher to use at any of the six municipal ramps. Downtown Rochester businesses are working hard to safely serve you. Support them back and get three hours of free parking as a thank you! City of Rochester CARES funding is being used to support this program.

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5 Safe Ways to Experience the Magic of the Holiday Season

"Home for the Holidays" takes on a whole new meaning this year. Let's not let COVID-19 be the Grinch in 2020. Celebrate the season with these five safe ways to experience the magic of the holidays in downtown Rochester.

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Safe Shopping and Dining Hours during Small Business Saturdays 2020

To support the safety of all types of shoppers this holiday season, these downtown Rochester businesses will be offering dedicated safe shopping hours during which people with health concerns may be able to shop, dine, or experience the business.

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All-ages family fun in downtown Rochester

Finding ways to keep kids entertained and out of trouble can be tough. Luckily, downtown Rochester offers all kinds of adventures for every age range. Check off these all-ages family fun activities that can be found in downtown Rochester!

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Why taking the 2020 census is important for downtown Rochester

There's one small task those living in downtown Rochester can do to help shape the future of our community: taking the 2020 census. Here are the five W's—what, who, when, where, and why— of the census and its impacts on our downtown Rochester community.

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Labor Day from downtown Rochester businesses

Labor Day signals the end of summer. Take advantage of these summer deals and promotions from downtown Rochester businesses before they end, too!

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Downtown Has You Covered: Shop Face Coverings and Masks

In addition to taking measures to ensure customer and employee safety, many downtown Rochester retailers are offering different types of face masks. Adjusting to the "new normal" is easier when you can find a mask that feels comfortable for you-- and in colors and fabrics that have the potential to spark some joy too! Here is where you can find face coverings, masks, and other COVID-related care items downtown.

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5 Ways to Extend Dining into Public Spaces

Before COVID-19 pushed Minnesota restaurants to quickly pivot to outdoor offerings, al fresco dining was already gaining popularity around the country. Take a look at these precedents from Minneapolis, Seattle, Boston, and elsewhere. 

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Announcing the Keep it Local Grant Recipients

Fifty-five local businesses are innovating and partnering with other local entities to propel themselves into a world beyond COVID-19. With gracious financial contributions from the City of Rochester and Destination Medical Center, the Keep it Local, COVID-19 Innovators Grant program distributed $100,000 among these businesses to collaborate on new technology or business models in response to COVID-19.

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How to Create an At-Home Ergonomic Workspace

What a pain in the neck! No, we're not talking about a thing or a person but a literal pain caused by an improperly set-up at-home office. With so many people working remotely in response to COVID-19, hear from a professional for how to create an at-home ergonomic workspace.

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Mother's Day specials from downtown Rochester

Ma. Mum. Mommy. Madre. However you refer to her, let your mother know you're thinking of her, even if you can't be with her in person. Celebrate your mom with these Mother's Day specials from downtown Rochester.

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5 Ways to Help Your Business through COVID-19

COVID-19 is an unprecedented time that has created a new way of doing business. To provide the most up to date information about your business, the Rochester Downtown Alliance staff has put together five ways to help your business through COVID-19.

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Safe Physical Distancing Activities in downtown Rochester

Minnesotans are staying closer to home to slow the spread of COVID-19. But "at home" does not need to mean "confined to your home," as the governor is encouraging people to get outdoors safely. Here are some safe physical distancing activities to enjoy in downtown Rochester.

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Community Spotlight on Yoga Tribe MN

Breathe in, breathe out. It sounds simple but taking time to breathe is important. Yoga and meditation can help you live in the moment and be grounded back to reality. Yoga Tribe MN owner Heather Ritenour-Sampson shares how a simple 30-minute virtual session can help alleviate stress and anxious feelings and help boost your outlook in this Community Spotlight feature.

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Down for the Account: Get Taxes Done in Downtown Rochester

With COVID-19 affecting other aspects of life, Tax Day is no exception. On March 20, the U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin announced the April 15 filing deadline has been extended to July 15. (On March 17, the federal tax payment deadline was extended 90 days.) Don’t overtax your brain, wondering where to get that much-needed help. Set up appointments with any of the following businesses to account for your 2019 taxes.

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COVID-19 Support for Businesses and Organizations

Business information and resources relating to COVID-19. 

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How to Help the Downtown Rochester Community during COVID-19

Find ways to support the Rochester community, both downtown and throughout the city.

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Meet Rebecca with Poppi Italian Leather

Meet Rebecca with Poppi Italian Leather in downtown Rochester. Hard work and determination have gotten her to where she is today: a successful business owner. Read more about her journey and what she has learned throughout the years.

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Meet Heather with Yoga Tribe

Meet Heather Ritenour-Sampson with Yoga Tribe MN in downtown Rochester. She became a small business owner "because I was tired of asking permission and waiting for change." If you can identify, Heather's story here is an inspiring read.

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Meet Beth with Pittsburgh Blue Steakhouse

Meet Beth Coons with Pittsburgh Blue Steakhouse in downtown Rochester. As general manager, Beth juggles a lot. How does she get it all done? Find out here as she explains the daily challenges, and rewards, of being a female entrepreneur.

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The Essential Guide to Downtown Rochester's Ladies' Night Out

Update as of March 12, 2020: For the safety and health of downtown business employees and attendees, the Rochester Downtown Alliance is postponing Ladies’ Night Out amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) concern. We make decisions like this with the utmost care and consider local, state, and national updates. We look forward to bringing you community events you love soon.

It's not just girls who wanna have fun: Ladies' Night Out March 26 presented by the Rochester Downtown Alliance is a good time for everyone! With more activities and experiences for every age and gender, plan your night out with this essential guide to the upcoming Ladies' Night Out in downtown Rochester.

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Meet Joan from Tangerine at Wildflowers

Meet Joan Blakley McCoy from Tangerine at Wildflowers in downtown Rochester, which is a fun and happy place because of businesses like hers. Find out what Joan's biggest reward is from being a small business owner.

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Meet Becca with The Loop

Meet Becca Greising with The Loop in downtown Rochester. Customer service is ingrained in Becca, who has been in the hospitality industry for eight years and watched her mom in it for 20. Find out what keeps her motivated.

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What's New for Ladies' Night Out 2020?

Update as of March 12, 2020: For the safety and health of downtown business employees and attendees, the Rochester Downtown Alliance is postponing Ladies’ Night Out amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) concern. We make decisions like this with the utmost care and consider local, state, and national updates. We look forward to bringing you community events you love soon.

Extra, extra: read all about investing in yourself and enjoying being with friends at Ladies' Night Out March 26 in downtown Rochester. Here are the newest Ladies' Night Out additions!

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The 29 Ladies' Night Out Participating Businesses

Update as of March 12, 2020: For the safety and health of downtown business employees and attendees, the Rochester Downtown Alliance is postponing Ladies’ Night Out amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) concern. We make decisions like this with the utmost care and consider local, state, and national updates. We look forward to bringing you community events you love soon.

Recharge in March with Ladies' Night Out March 26, whether that's through relaxation, empowerment, dining, or some retail therapy. These downtown Rochester businesses are ready to offer a fun time for all Ladies' Night Out attendees.

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Meet Anna with Pure Barre

Meet Anna Christian with Pure Barre in downtown Rochester. Her story is a must-read: from empowering others to taking time for herself! Find out about her journey from Pure Barre instructor to owner.

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Meet Kendra with Friends' of the Library Bookstore

Meet Kendra Ryan with Friends of the Library Bookstore in downtown Rochester. She is one of the many volunteers in the female-centric environment (63 of the 69 volunteers are women) at the bookstore.

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Sharing the Best-Kept Secrets…To Weekend Brunch & Bevies

Rise and shine, weekenders! Everyone needs a good start to the day, and it all begins with a good breakfast! Below are some of the best places for brunch and bevies you’ll find in downtown Rochester on a Saturday, Sunday or both days!

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Meet Ashley with Dooley's Pub

Meet Ashley McKittrick with Dooley's Pub & Restaurant in downtown Rochester. Having been with Dooley's since day one, she worked her way up to general manager from waitressing to bartending to management.

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Meet Mary Jo from Healing Touch Spa

Meet Mary Jo Majerus with Healing Touch Spa in downtown Rochester. She shares the journey to opening her own massage business and her story of being a woman in business.

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Half of Rochester's Favorite Restaurants are Downtown

Way to pick 'em, Rochester! Half of the Rochester Magazine's Favorite Restaurant winners are those that can be found in downtown Rochester. Find out how your favorite restaurant stacked up in this list.

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10 Most Asked-For Santa Presents and Where to Find Them in Downtown

Santa Claus had to hurry on his way November 29. But before he waved goodbye, he gave us a peek at the Here Comes Santa Claus kids’ letters. What were the top asked-for gifts? Find out here!

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Pitch Your Idea for a Downtown Rochester Event

Planning events is no easy feat. As the producers of large events like SocialICE and Thursdays Downtown, we get it! That’s why we want to help new or existing event organizers secure event funding through our Start-Up Event Grant.

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5 Questions with Holly, RDA executive director

By now, Holly Masek is no stranger to Rochester. Starting the position as executive director in June, Holly hit the ground running. Now, she's catching up for a little one-on-one insight into why she chose Rochester after growing up in the northeast. Let's hear more about her in her conversation here!

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Organically Yours: A Downtown Rochester Mural Collaboration

A new mural in downtown Rochester, created by local artists Leah Bee of Canvas & Chardonnay and Liz Forsman, will blend one artist’s style of colorful organic shapes with another’s line art.

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Dogs Downtown Quiz: What Type of Dog are You?

With more than 300 dog breeds (according to the World Canine Organization), what type are you? Find out with this quiz before Dogs Downtown August 3 in downtown Rochester, where you'll see a variety of breeds!

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5 Q & As for Karli McElroy's 5-Year Work Anniversary

Much can happen in five years. Karli McElroy, the Rochester Downtown Alliance's senior director of placemaking, is living proof that is true! In five years, she's done a variety of work at the RDA, and her incredible patience, tireless dedication, and inspiring talent have been instrumental along the way! Cheers for Karli McElroy as she celebrated her fifth work anniversary with the Rochester Downtown Alliance! To celebrate, Karli takes a trip down memory lane with Katie Adelman, the RDA's director of content and communications!

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3 Food-Allergy-Friendly Eats at Thursdays Downtown

Living with a food allergy or a dietary restriction doesn't mean depriving yourself of mouthwatering fare. Whether you have a sensitivity to gluten or dairy or you are a vegetarian, delicious options complementary to your dietary needs can be found at Thursdays Downtown!

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5 Questions with Monika, the new RDA events manager

The Rochester Downtown Alliance is excited to announce Monika Kopet as the new events manager! Let's hear more about her in her conversation below!

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Movies in the Park, a Feature Presentation in Downtown Rochester

With the premiere of Movies in the Park, presented by the Rochester Downtown Alliance and Premier Bank Rochester, summer nights are about to get a lot more fun! Save the following dates for Movies in the Park 2019!

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A Visitor’s Guide: Where to Stay and What to Do in Downtown Rochester

To see, to stay or to do; that is the question. In downtown Rochester, you can do it all! Whether you’re here for a day or a week, there’s no shortage of things to experience. Check-in to any of downtown Rochester’s fine hotels for a welcomed stay with plenty to do during waking hours. Below you will find a complete guide for visiting downtown Rochester!

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Explore Your Backyard Like a Pro

No matter how long you’ve been a resident—be it a year or 50—you probably feel like you know downtown Rochester like the back of your hand! As Rochester continues to grow in vitality, so will its opportunities. We always encourage you to find more to explore! Start with the following See, Stay, and Do guides to downtown Rochester!

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A New Lease on Life with a Downtown Rochester Apartment

As Dorothy in "The Wizard of Oz" said, “There’s no place like home.” Downtown Rochester, Minnesota could be your next home sweet home! With many conveniences right outside your door in downtown Rochester (every service imaginable, you’re minutes away from where you need/want to be, entertainment options abound, etc.), it’s all about location, location, location! Find a new place to call home; have a look at the following Downtown Rochester rentals!

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Sharing the Best-Kept Secrets…To The Best Housewarming Gifts

So, you need a housewarming gift. Where do you start to look? Luckily, downtown Rochester has many stores with a variety of offerings to suit your giftee’s style! From a vibrant print for their walls to a fragrant floral arrangement, these are the places in downtown Rochester to find the best housewarming gifts!

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Don’t Miss Out! A Year of Downtown Rochester Events

How does the common saying go: “So much time and so little to do”? Strike that and reverse it! In downtown Rochester, there is plenty to do and we’ll help you with the time factor, too! Here is a list of Rochester events worth traveling for in every season and year-round! Find more Events in downtown Rochester while attending the following!

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6 Accommodations for Your Visit to Downtown Rochester

“Are you here for business or personal?” It’s a question likely to be heard when booking a hotel room. Whichever is the case, your stay in downtown Rochester will be a pleasurable one! Many thoughtful amenities inside the hotel itself and even more within walking distance await you for however long you are staying with us in downtown Rochester. Discover the possibilities for accommodations in downtown Rochester below!

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What to Do in Downtown Rochester in Your Free Time

Welcome to downtown Rochester, Minnesota! Whether you are visiting for the first time or are a life-long resident, here you will find plenty of places to go in your spare time. Within a 44-block district, downtown Rochester has everything from arts and culture to live action to quiet nature. Find your free-time fit with the following See & Do ideas in downtown Rochester!

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5 questions with Katie, the newest RDA staff member

The Rochester Downtown Alliance is excited to announce Katie Adelman as the new director of content and communications! While not originally from the area, Katie is all too familiar with Rochester. But we’ll let her tell you more in her conversation below!

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#MyDowntownRochMN with Danae Gaio

Our latest featured shared the story of high school sweethearts John and Sandy MacLaughlin. This week we caught up with Danae who enjoys the convenient location of her job and the proximity to the great food options, steps from her desk. 

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#MyDowntownRochMN featuring Blue Sky Dental

While the average dentist may not offer a paraffin wax or a massage chair during your routine checkup, Blue Sky Dental is not your average dentist office! During John and Sandy MacLaughlin’s #MyDowntownRochMN interview, Sandy commented on how terrific she feels after her appointments at Blue Sky Dental. We talked with Dr. SonjaMae, owner of Blue Sky Dental, to find out what makes them an above average dental clinic.

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#MyDowntownRochMN with John and Sandy MacLaughlin

Our last feature was on Ahmed Makkawy for our #MyDowntownRochMN campaign. This week we sat down with high school sweethearts John and Sandy to get their take on all things Downtown Rochester, MN. Plus, we learned how to make your trip to the dentist more enjoyable. 

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#MyDowntownRochMN with Ahmed Makkawy

Our last feature was on Shane Braatz and Svaar, owner of Knights Chamber for our #MyDowntownRochMN campaign. This week we sat down with Ahmed Makkawy to get his take on all things Downtown Rochester, MN. Plus, we learned some very interesting information about the banking industry as we also interviewed PJ from Think Bank.

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#MyDowntownRochMN Featuring Think Bank

Ahmed Makkawy shared with us in his #MyDowntownRochMN interview that the customer service at Think Mutual Bank helps make his Downtown experience stand out. We sat down with PJ, the Branch Manager at the Downtown location, to learn about Think Mutual Bank.

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#MyDowntownRochMN Featuring Knight's Chamber

Located in the heart of the Shops at University Square lies Knight’s Chamber of Rochester. Shane Braatz mentioned in his #MyDowntownRochMN interview that the staff at Knight’s Chamber “provide a whole new level of customer service”. We decided to dig deeper into his statement and sit down with Svaar, owner of Knight’s Chamber, to learn about the ins and outs of his business.

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#MyDowntownRochMN with Amanda Golden

The Rochester Downtown Alliance (RDA) introduced #MyDowntownRochMN two weeks ago by featuring Nicki de Vera and highlighting Canvas & Chardonnay. The RDA will continue to provide interviews all year long, so no matter what the season, we’ll provide you with firsthand knowledge of how you can make YOUR Downtown experience even better. Plus, we invite you to share what you love about Downtown Rochester by using #MyDowntownRochMN on your social media accounts. 

This week we sat down with Amanda Golden for #MyDowntownRochMN to get her take on all things Downtown Rochester, MN. 

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#MyDowntownRochMN Featuring Canvas & Chardonnay

Do you love painting with your girlfriends or just enjoy a fun night out with adult beverages? Nicki de Vera thinks Canvas & Chardonnay is the perfect place, as she mentioned in her #MyDowntownRochMN interview. We stopped by Canvas & Chardonnay to chat with Leah, one of the new owners, and learn more about the business.

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It's Global Entrepreneurship Week in downtown Rochester

Global Entrepreneurship Week Rochester

November 14-20 is Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) Rochester - a celebration of entrepreneurship in Rochester, MN.

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