Just one more month to pedal pub in Rochester

Fans of pedaling and hoisting drinks may have only another month to get their fill.

PedalPub Rochester is planning to shut down after the 2015 season ends in mid-November.

"It just was not bringing in the ridership we had hoped for," said Managing Partner Al Boyce, who is also part of PedalPub Twin Cities.

The 16-passenger bar on wheels was well-received when it opened in 2013 in the medical town, Boyce said. But high storage prices in downtown Rochester have played a role in making it less viable. The pub will still honor upcoming reservations and take new ones through Nov. 15, Boyce said.

Pam Louwagie @pamlouwagie

St. James

St. James gets $864,000 federal highway grant

Two little roundabouts could make a big difference in the commute through downtown St. James.

The Federal Highway Administration is steering an $864,000 innovation grant to the city to build a pair of linked mini-roundabouts that the state hopes will improve safety and flow of traffic through town, without disrupting the heavy grain trucks that travel that stretch of Hwy. 4.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation is about to launch a two-year, $6.9 million reconstruction project on 1.6 miles of highway that run through the city. The roundabout funding will allow the project to remove two downtown traffic lights along First Avenue. Without the federal grant, City Manager Joe McCabe said, St. James was facing up to $600,000 in upgrades for those intersection lights, which lead to a nearby railroad intersection. Construction will run through 2017.

Jennifer Brooks @stribrooks


Longtime motel shutters as next generation retires

Road-weary travelers and visitors to this Iron Range city will no longer find accommodation at the Marjo Motel as they have for generations, ever since Margaret and Joseph Mesojedec opened it in the mid-1950s. The motel closed last month, permanently, as the Mesojedecs' son Tom opted to take a well-earned retirement.

"It's kind of 24/7 if you want to do it right," said Tom Mesojedec. "I'd just like to get out and do other things."

The Mesojedecs built their Marjo Hotel and restaurant in 1951 and the motel a few years later. They ran both until the 1970s, selling off the hotel. Joseph died young in 1981 but Margaret ran the motel well into her 90s. She died two years ago in July.

The motel was busy this summer, but Tom and his brother decided it was time to close down.

The motel sits at the western entrance to the city, just across the street from a new harbor project that heightened expectations for the town's economic future. A hotel planned for the new harbor hasn't yet materialized.

Matt McKinney @_mattmckinney