The Castle Community team is thrilled to announce that construction on the project will begin in early July with an anticipated opening in late November. Benike Construction has been hired as the general contractor for the project under the direction of Mike Benike. Benike’s experience with historic buildings (notably the Conley Maass Downs building on Fourth Street SW) greatly impacted our decision to work with their team. Follow Castle Community on Facebook and Instagram for updates over the course of construction.
First Floor: Cameo at the Castle
We are delighted to introduce the chef/owner/operator of our first floor restaurant and exclusive caterer for all events in the building, Zach Ohly with Cameo at the Castle.
Cameo Restaurant will be a breath of fresh air in the Rochester restaurant landscape. Ohly has a passion for cooking a variety of cuisines and as such, the restaurant will not have the same food as many restaurants in the area. The flavors of Cameo will be influenced by cultures around the world, while still having Midwestern appeal. The menu will feature technique-driven dishes created with quality, responsibly sourced ingredients. The entire Cameo team is incredibly passionate and dedicated to delivering a quality experience for each and every guest from our local community and also visitors to our city.
Cameo will be popping up around Rochester in the coming months to give the community a taste of what to expect when the restaurant opens. Until then, stay tuned… and stay hungry!
Second Floor: Castle Commons, Castle Arts Community, Fair Trade Books, and The Art Store
The Castle Commons is the common area between the Fair Trade Books and the Castle Studios. The space will be open to the public during the hours of operation of the building. We intend for the Commons to be a unique indoor space for the citizens of Rochester to use and enjoy as they please. The space will provide tables & chairs, soft seating, wireless internet access, games, books, magazines, and additional amenities to be determined. Cameo will offer coffee, snacks, and food for purchase, and outside food and beverage will be allowed in this space. The Commons is intended to bring together Rochester residents and visitors into an open and inviting space to work, learn, and congregate.
Fair Trade Books first opened its doors in Red Wing in early 2014 and now plans to open a second location on the second floor of The Castle in Downtown Rochester. The store sells new and used books as well as vinyl records, comics, and games. Much more than a bookstore, Fair Trade Books will host events such as author signings, topical films, lectures, game nights, and more.
The Castle Arts Community will offer private art studios for rent, group studio space, a traditional photography dark room, a makerspace, a gallery with rotating exhibitions, and additional resources to the arts community in Rochester. Artists will work in a community-focused atmosphere, providing an environment for collaboration and engagement with other creatives and the community at large. Artists will work together to guide the programming of the artistic spaces.
The Art Store will offer original artwork for purchase (in collaboration with the Castle Arts Community), art materials, handmade gift items, and a space for local makers to present a pop-up retail showcase. The Art Store will also feature an “art bar” where patrons can create an original work of art with supplied materials and instruction from staff.
Third Floor: Event Space, Art Gallery, Community Meeting Space
The third floor event space will host a variety of community events. It has the capacity to function as a banquet or conference facility, entertainment venue (hosting lectures, musicians, film screenings, and other performing arts). This space will serve local musicians, cultural initiatives, large gatherings, business meetings, and other special events. We are currently booking for 2018 holiday events and the 2019 calendar year. Cameo will support any food and beverage needs for events in this space, offering full-service catering, bar service with a modified food menu, and box lunch options for groups of all sizes.
The art gallery will showcase the work of local artists and traveling exhibitions under the direction of the Castle Arts Community. Exhibitions will change on a regular basis (6-8 weeks), offering a new experience for visitors on return visits. The space will also be available for private functions.
The community meeting space will be available for community members to use free of charge, based on availability. The Castle Arts Community and Fair Trade Books will also use this space to offer classes, workshops, artist lectures, author events, etc… Reservations for this space can be arranged with the Castle Arts Community staff.
We are eager to welcome the community into this space and look forward to opportunities for connect with you. Stay tuned for upcoming events and announcements about the project. Please visit our website for more information, and contact us with any inquiries regarding artist opportunities, event space, or collaboration with our team.