New restaurant to open this summer in the historic Conley-Maass building
A new fine dining experience is coming to downtown Rochester.
Veteran chefs Erik Kleven and Erik Paulsen — both formerly of Four Daughters in Spring Valley — announced plans this week to open a new restaurant in the historic Conley-Maass building at 14 Fourth Street SW.
The Bleu Duck Kitchen will be located on the first floor of the building, which is in the midst of a $2.7 million renovation project. The restaurant is expected to open to the public in mid to late August.
“We’re excited to be able to offer a custom and local culinary experience that we hope will become a destination location for dining,” said Kleven.
Bleu Duck will use fresh, sustainable ingredients to create new and innovative twists on classic dishes. The owners plans to change up the menu every week based on what is in season and available locally.
The restaurant will also feature a full bar offering up creative cocktails made with local ingredients, as well craft beers from local breweries and a selection of wines designed to match the menu.
During the summer months, the chefs will offer cooking classes on Saturday mornings. "We'll take people to the farmers market and talk about different ingredients and vendors," said Paulsen. "We'll grab a few ingredients, come back and do a demo with what we found there."
The interior of Bleu Duck is being designed by Adam Ferrari of 9.SQUARE, the same architect behind places like The Doggery and Forager Brewery. It will feature a simple, natural look highlighting the building's original character.
The restaurant will have a "very pronounced kitchen presence,"according to Paulsen, allowing for a closer connection between customers and their food.
"When you go to parties, everyone ends up in the kitchen at your house," he said. "That's what we want to convey, as well — that comfortable feeling that everyone's hanging out in the kitchen."
The open kitchen will feature a "chef's counter" for more intimate and exclusive culinary experiences. There will also be a separate space in the back of the restaurant for meetings and private events.
The owners expect to hire a staff of 25-30 full and part-time employees.
You can learn more about the building's history here.
About Sean Baker: Sean is the founder and editor of the Med City Beat. Under his direction, the site has transitioned from a small news blog to one of the most widely-read publications in the city. Prior to launching the site in 2014, Sean spent about two years producing television news in Green Bay and Rochester. His office is above a brewery, so please excuse any typos. Twitter.
(Cover graphic: Rendering / 9.SQUARE)