If you’re from Rochester you are probably familiar with ‘The Castle’ on Broadway, but like many people, you’ve never had a chance to go inside-until now. Built in 1915 as Rochester Minnesota’s Armory, the towering brick structure was eventually renovated to house the Rochester Senior Citizen Center. In 2016, the Senior Center moved to a new facility (125 LIVE). In May of 2017, a group of investors called Castle Community, LLC submitted a proposal to the City of Rochester to purchase the building with the agreement that they would reinvent the space as a community center.
Since it opened this winter, The Castle Community has worked to establish itself as a great facility for a wide range of interests, ages, and abilities. Hours vary for each individual business and space and you can find current info here. Check out our breakdown below of the cool spaces and businesses that make up The Castle!
With garden level dining seen mostly in older, larger metropolitan cities, Cameo offers a diverse menu with local and regional influences. Capitalizing on its numerous windows and historic space, the cozy, moody, industrial style of the restaurant varies with the weather and time of day.
Stop for appetizers and a drink, or stay to watch the buzz of the kitchen while enjoying a multi-course meal. Cameo will soon become your favorite spot for a fun evening out. There are also two semi-private dining rooms able to accommodate large parties, and last but not least, a 700-bottle wine collection!
Local yogis are familiar with the Yoga Tribe community from their first street-level space on South Broadway. Now part of Castle Community, Yoga Tribe offers everything from traditional classes yoga teacher training certifications, as well as collaborations with other community partners to explore art, music, healing and wellness. You can view their class schedule here.
Collective Books and Records
It’s the return of the record store! You’ll want to grab a coffee and browse for hours when you wander into the completely unique-to-Rochester bookstore and record shop at Castle Community. Here you’ll find a wide variety of used books in all (we mean all) genres…think pottery, science, religion, poetry, and politics to name very few. Throw in extensive fiction and children’s books for all ages and you truly have something for everyone. Collective will also exchange used books and records in good condition for store credit, constantly increasing the diversity of its offerings.
Queen City Coffee and Juice
Super cute, and extraordinarily friendly, Queen City Coffee and Juice is owned and managed by Rochesterite Breanna Holtan-a sommelier with over 20 years of experience in our local food and beverage industry. Specializing in craft coffee, and cold-pressed house-made juices, Queen City complements the Castle Commons atmosphere and bookstore, grab-and-go food options in collaboration with Cameo, house-made drinking vinegars, syrups, and kombucha. Queen City has expanded hours is open early morning to the late evening, in order to accommodate expanded operating hours of the public common spaces.
Neon Green and Threshold Arts
Love to get creative but not sure where to start? Want to do a project or host a party but not sure what materials you need? This is the place for you! Whether you’re looking for a quiet place to create or full project instructions and supplies, the professional artists at Neon Green want to help you express yourself through creating art. Great for everything from ladies night to birthday parties, you will feel welcomed and inspired the moment you set foot in the studio.
A departure from the hotel ballroom scene, the 4,500 sf event space can accommodate anything from a banquet to a conference…even a concert! Decades-old wood floors were shined up for new use, while the iconic curved ceiling encourages everything from dancing to business meetings. With a full staff to manage programming as well as private event rentals and Cameo on site for all food and beverage needs, you’ll definitely want to check out the Castle for your next event. Or stay tuned here for public events.
A few key items to note:
- The Castle is fully accessible on all levels via a large elevator so its easy for those on crutches, in a wheelchair, or pushing a stroller.
- Parking is readily available on the street and on the surface lot to the north. Remember-parking is free downtown on nights and weekends!
- Castle Community is new, expect it to evolve and grow as events take place and artists, community groups, performers, etc have a chance to activate the space and provide feedback
- Want to be part of Threshold Arts as a creative professional? More info available here.