Downtown Rochester Minnesota’s restaurant scene has changed drastically over the last year. Local favorites like Newt’s, Hefe Rojo, and Pescara have all closed and there has been a lot of speculation about what’s happening with the Half Barrel.

In January, I noticed several social media posts saying the Half Barrel was closed for good and reached out to the restaurant for confirmation. I didn’t receive a response but did see a “closed for kitchen remodel” sign hanging on their door. That sign has been up for months but will be coming down today because a new restaurant is taking over that location!

Minnesota Now logo
Get our free mobile app

Earlier this year, we found out about two new restaurants that would be taking over the Newt’s and Hefe locations, and now we know what’s going on with the Half Barrell.

New to Downtown Rochester:

The Well Dining is now open in the former Dooley’s location.
Fuzzy's Italian Ice is now open on 1st Ave in the former Potbelly's.
Sammi Loo, the owner of Mezza 9 Cafe and Ootori Sushi, plans to bring new flavors to downtown Rochester. She’ll open a Korean-style restaurant in the former Hefe Rojo building and the old Newt’s will feature Korean street foods.

What’s Going On With The Half Barrel in Rochester?

The Half Barrel is no more, but a new pub/restaurant is taking its place and will be opening soon.

Google Maps
Google Maps


I spoke with the owner this morning to find out more about this downtown eatery and learned it will be called 507 (Pub)lic House.

(I was today years old when I learned the term pub comes from public house.)

Timothy Ross is the man behind this new restaurant and has years of experience in the industry. He’s spent a lot of time working with well-known Rochester restaurateur, Natalie Victoria, and has also worked in Michelin restaurants around the country.


Ross says 507 (Pub)lic House will serve scratch food – nothing will come from a freezer – he says the menu will feature American food like burgers and sandwiches, but will also include international dishes including Thai, Mexican, Indian, and French food.

The new establishment will have a full bar with an impressive wine list, classic cocktails, and 12 regional beers on tap.

And, the patio area will seat 54 and give guests the perfect view of Thursdays Downtown all summer long!

 When Does 507 (Pub)lic House Open?

opening soon stamp. opening soon label. square grunge sign

The restaurant will be open for dinner only to start. 3:00 PM to 11:00 PM Sunday through Thursday and 3:00 PM to Midnight on Friday and Saturday. Ross said the hours will expand to include lunch and brunch once the business gets settled in.

The tentative plan is for 507 (Pub)lic House to open its doors for business on July 5th.

13 Rochester Restaurants with the Best Outdoor Seating

Eating out on the patio at a restaurant is one of the best ways to enjoy warm weather in Minnesota. Check out the 13 Rochester, Minnesota restaurants with the best outdoor seating (in no particular order). 

More From Minnesota Now