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A millennial's wish list — 10 things Rochester could really use

A millennial's wish list — 10 things Rochester could really use

As a person who’s called Rochester home since the adorable age of 4, I feel as though I am qualified enough to write an op-ed with all of my “must-haves” for a desirable place for Millennials to call home. We have fought hard for our ride-sharing services and if we could keep that momentum coming, this is my wish list. 

drive-in movie theater

If you haven’t spent your Saturday nights on the Peace Plaza watching a movie, you’re definitely not living your best life. Our Movies in the Park series is fantastic, but what about when the audience is busting at the seams and there’s no room for your blanket on the lawn? If we had a drive-in movie theater, all of the world’s problems could potentially be solved over popcorn and Finding Nemo. 

karaoke bar

Singing your heart out to Hall and Oats’ “You Make My Dreams Come True” is a perfect way to unwind after a hard day at work. If you’ve been to the Vegas Lounge in northeast Minneapolis, you know exactly how I feel. Most people end up taking life way too seriously and we could all use a night to embarrass ourselves. Think of all of the staff retreats you could have there.

Dance club downtown

I see you Dooley’s, I see you. I’ve spent many an evening dancing there, but think of all the fun we could have if their dance floor was the entire establishment? We could really use an Aquarius (R.I.P.) downtown where all our hardworking Rochesterites can go to practice their questionable dance moves. 

More music venues

I go to concerts every single month and unfortunately have to travel up to the Cities for them. If I could drive a solid 10 minutes into downtown and watch Betty Who or Lissie sing their hearts out, I’d be a happy camper. I’m talking about some beautiful venues like Fine Line or the Icehouse. You’ll need one of those plush couches after your third glass of wine and regrettable choice in shoes. 

Roller rink

Did you see how much fun Raven and Nick had on the "Bachelor" at the roller rink? Pull that up on YouTube and watch them fall in love under the disco lights. This is a classic family friendly activity that no matter your age, you can appreciate.

More museums with traveling exhibits

We’ve had some pretty great exhibits that have come through Rochester and I would love to see more. The Race Exhibit held at the Public Library in 2010 was fantastic and something I hope most citizens were able to walk through. A place for our community members to spend a Saturday afternoon in could complement our city’s love for learning.

Late-night eats

It’s 12 a.m. and most bars have stopped serving food, what are you supposed to do? If there were a few establishments that opened their doors again at midnight, think of all the starving people that would come running (stumbling?) to grab some food. I’ve got high hopes for our food trucks this summer! 

More food delivery services

I work through my allotted lunch time basically every single day, mainly because I hate myself and love my job. I would pay someone big bucks to deliver me a Greek salad when I can’t get off this conference call. How much do I have to tip my Lyft driver to do this?

Trampoline Park

Hear me out, we would need to provide proper safety equipment and supervision, but I would wake up early on the weekend just to go practice my trampoline tricks. This could not only be rented out for gymnasts and American Ninja Warriors (Hi Roo), but you could also make your restless 8-year-old birthday dreams come true.


I just think fish are cool and walking below a glass ceiling full of Sharks at the Mall of America is a spiritual experience.

Grace Pesch works as youth advocate in Rochester. She also enjoys food and trying to convince everyone that millenials aren't actually ruining the country.

Cover photo: Palma Aquarium / Creative Commons

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