Rochester’s new classic food hall to open its doors Thursday

Helena V Berbie

After months of preparation, the Med City’s new food hall is opening its doors Thursday, July 22.

Andy and Kari Friederichs announced the opening of The Workshop Food Hall & Bar at 1232 Third Ave. SE on social media on Wednesday evening, hours before the opening. The Friederiches posted an image with the quote, “In the End We Only Regret the Chance We Didn’t Take.”

“The Workshop Food Hall & Bar renovation has been an undertaking. The thoughts started in 2019 and construction began in March 2020. It’s been a labor of love and one we hope is felt in our community,” they wrote on Facebook. “Repurposing old buildings is our passion. Challenges fuel the fire. We felt this quote to be fitting as we start this new opportunity.”

Rochester’s first modern food hall is scheduled to open at 4 p.m. today.

Workshop Barbers, an old-school men’s barbershop led by Andy Friederichs, opened on the north end of the complex earlier this summer.

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The Friederichses are best known locally for renovating old apartment buildings, like The Parker. In 2020, they took on the task of transforming the massive 1930s industrial Reid Murdoch building that was used by Libby’s and Seneca Foods for many years. It stands across Third Avenue from the former Seneca plant site in the shadow of Rochester’s beloved ear of corn water tower.

It is set up to house a variety of food offerings from vendors surrounding a large seating area and a bar.

The main dining area seats 300, with a variety of booths, high-top tables and cafeteria-style seating. The décor has a 1930s feel, with many historic photos of the canning plant. Four local artists have painted murals throughout the complex. There also is a central stage for live music performances.

The patio area out front will seat another 100 customers. Part of the outdoor seating, dubbed Charlie’s Patio after the Friedrichs’ chocolate Labrador retriever, will be dog-friendly.

The Workshop Bar will serve a full selection of mixed drinks, wine and beer, including beer from Rochester’s breweries. The bar is on the south end of the complex.

For large parties and meetings, The Workshop has the Minnesota Room set aside. It seats 60 and features an audio-visual system for presentations.

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