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Restaurant news: Owners of Half Barrel opening new pub on Civic Center

Restaurant news: Owners of Half Barrel opening new pub on Civic Center

Crews are moving full steam ahead on Rochester's newest pub.

The Freight Yard is set to open within the next week or two at 821 Civic Center Drive NW (former site of Beer Bellyz and Billoti's). The inside of the building has been completely revamped with a new bar, furniture and decor.

Owners of the pub, Chris Fierst and Steve Lee, already have The Half Barrel, a popular eating and drinking establishment downtown. Their goal for The Freight Yard is to pair the Barrel's quality with a more casual atmosphere.

"It's going to be a little more relaxed than The Half Barrel, which is what we wanted to do," said Fierst. "But, I mean, you will still be able to get the same quality. We'll still work with the same quality spirits — and continue to operate with craft in mind."

 

The Freight House will start off with a limited food menu, featuring common pub fare like burgers, pizzas and roasted chicken. On the drink side, you can expect a range of tap beers and craft cocktails.

There will also be a small liquor store, Barrel House Spirits, in the front of the building. Rather than trying to compete with big-name competitors, Barrel House will focus on specialty items and knowledgeable customer service.

The pub also has plans to turn the back of its property into "the best backyard you can imagine," said Fierst. By next summer, the large outdoor area will be transformed into a green space and patio for hosting music and other events.

Check The Freight Yard's Facebook page for updates on its opening.

Fun fact about The Freight Yard

The interior design of the pub relies on reclaimed wood from an old barn on St. Mary's campus in Winona. The contractor handling the project is donating a portion of proceeds from its work to the Heartland Preservation Society. The nonprofit is working to renovate a 125-year-old brick schoolhouse in the rural Minnesota community of Lewiston. "We're trying to save some of the past," said Mike Burke, a board member for the Heartland Preservation Society.


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