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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. 

Samantha: Hi Danae, thank you for being able to chat with me about your #MyDowntownRochMN experience! Would you mind starting off by sharing a bit about yourself?

Danae: Thanks for having me! My husband and I both grew up in SE Minnesota, but we currently live in SW Rochester. He works at Domaille Engineering and I work at Bremer Bank. We have five girls between the two of us with three living in the area, one in Rogers, MN and one in River Falls, WI (though she promised me she’d always be a Vikings fan). Three of them are married with two being engaged! We also have six grandchildren.

Samantha: Wow, I’m sure they all keep you busy! Bremer Bank is right in the heart of Downtown, what do you enjoy most about working Downtown?

Danae: I love the energy! Whenever I walk outside or in the skyway I always run into people I know and maybe even some that I haven't seen for a while. There is always the opportunity to do some networking. My daughter, Jayme, graduated from college two years ago and is an interior designer at RSP Architects Downtown. It's so fun to have her only a block away and I enjoy the times when we can grab lunch together or go for a walk even if it's quick. I love all the shops Downtown and the convenience of being able to run out at lunch time on occasion to do some quick shopping.

Samantha: Let’s say you are grabbing a quick bite with your daughter on your lunch break, where do you head?

Danae: Ooo, that’s tough. We love a variety of food, so we eat out at many of the Downtown restaurants (especially those that have outdoor seating in the summer) but I would say some of our favorites are Terza, Hefe Rojo, and Bleu Duck. However, Potbelly is our quick go-to for a salad or sandwich, since it is literally steps away from my office. For a coffee or that "I have to have a little ice cream craving" I can literally go out the back door of our building and right into Cafe Steam or The Chocolate Twist.

Danae and her daughter Jayme enjoying a nice walk after lunch. To know more about Potbelly Sandwich Shop and their underground menu, click here. 

Samantha: Having worked Downtown for over 10 years, I’m sure you’ve acquired some Downtown “favorites” … mind sharing?

Danae: Oh, I have plenty. My two favorite dishes are the Tortelloni Rose from Terza and the Hefe Bowl from Hefe Rojo. For clothing, I like Chico’s and Hers and for gifts I like 99 Giggles, Tangerine, and Games by James. There are just so many friendly bartenders, servers and business owners in Downtown that it’s just hard to choose!

Samantha: When it’s not a work day how do you choose to stay entertained Downtown?

Danae: We love to attend concerts at the Mayo Civic Center and plays at the Civic Theatre. We also enjoy frequenting the Downtown Farmers Market, and of course stopping by Thursday’s on First & 3rd. Also, if you’re looking for a peaceful spot and beautiful view of the Downtown skyline, hit up the top floor of the 3rd Street Ramp; you won’t be disappointed.

Samantha: I’ll be sure to check that out! Now I’m sure you’ve had plenty of perfect days with you family, but if you were to plan a day Downtown with them, what would you do?

Danae: First, we’d stop for coffee at Café Steam and then we’d shop around Downtown and go for dinner and drinks at Terza. We’d either end the night with a concert or play at the Civic Theatre and then head to the Doubletree for a cozy night in.

Samantha: That does sound like the perfect day. Thank you for sharing your #MyDowntownRochMN story with us!

Want more #MyDowntownRochMN stories? Check out the links below. 

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Disclaimer: the views, comments, and opinions located within this blog are those of the community individual, not those of the Rochester Downtown Alliance (RDA).