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Looks Like It’s Farewell to Rochester’s VFW and the Benny’s Building


Kim david/Townsquare Media
Kim david/Townsquare Media

Rochester, MN (KROC AM News) – Patrons of Rochester’s VFW club may soon have to find a new watering hole – and, the city may be losing another building that was a popular hangout for teenagers and young adults in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s.  

The University of Minnesota-Rochester has cut a deal to purchase the VFW property along 6th St SW.

The site includes the small building at the southeast corner of 1st Ave and 6th St that once operated as Benny’s R-Tic Root Beer Stand. It was owned and operated by Benny and Eloise Dresbach from 1947- 1978 and has since been home to various businesses.

UMR is asking the city for $3.1-million to cover the purchase price, demolition and environmental testing. The money would come from the sales tax fund the city established for UMR several years ago.

The Rochester City Council is scheduled to vote on the UMR request Monday.

 A city spokesman says it’s expected the buildings will be demolished in time for UMR to take ownership in January.

UMR already owns adjacent property that it is part of a plan to build a campus that would be developed between Broadway and Soldiers Field Park.

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