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Heard on the Street: Shuttle Service to take over ex-Freight Yard

August 10, 2018

Groom Transportation is moving into the former Freight Yard bar site at 821 Civic Center Drive NW.

Rochester’s ex-Freight Yard Bar at 821 Civic Center Drive NW might become an actual transportation hub.

Richmond, Va.-based Groome Transportation, which took over the Go Rochester Direct shuttle service early last year, is revamping the former gas station-turned-bar to serve as its local base, according to Groome Operations Manager Andy Durand.

In addition to the using the 3,920-square-foot building as an office, the plan is to turn surround parking area into a “100 plus space” park-and-ride lot for shuttle passengers.

The project is in the very early stages with first paperwork filed with the city this week. Durand said it’s hard to estimate when it will move into the space, though they expect it to happen yet in 2018.

The property is owned by Rochester’s Leitzen Concrete Products Inc.

The shuttle service is now running 23 trips a day in the area, mostly transporting passengers between Rochester and the Minneapolis Airport.

Groome has a local fleet of 20 vehicles and 75 employees.

In January 2017, Groome took over the locally based Go Rochester Direct shuttle service.

The 83-year-old Virginia company also operates Atlanta, Washington, D.C., Phoenix and Nashville, Tenn. It moved into Minnesota this past spring, when it acquired Skyline Shuttle in Duluth.

This will mark yet another change for the Civic Center building.

Since 2008, the former Holiday gas station has housed a string of bars including Beer Bellyz Bar and Grill, Players Sports Grille and Bilotti’s Italian Village and The Freight Yard Bar.

The Freight Yard closed in April.

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