Med City’s Chicken War Gets Spicy With New Sherels Restaurant


Nashville Coop, a hot new brand, is preparing to open a store in Rochester on South Broadway. The brand has two physical stores and three food trucks in the Twin Cities as well as a Nashville Coop counter in the American Bank Stadium.

The Rochester Restaurant at 102 20th St. SE will anchor a shopping center at the important corner of South Broadway and 20th Street Southeast.

Metro was the last tenant of this space, which includes a drive-thru window. Subway had been selling submarines on site for 11 years. When it opened in 2010, it replaced a Froots smoothie store.

While the Nashville Coop brand is based in the Twin Cities as a creation of Mohamed arif and his father Mohamed omer along with their family, the Med City location will be their first franchise location with a well-known Rochesterite as the local owner.

The new Nashville Coop is owned by Marcus Sherels, former defensive back / punt returner for the Minnesota Vikings. Sherels is the reason the Coop comes to Rochester.

Sherels, who co-owns other local businesses, wanted to open a restaurant. A friend introduced him to Nashville Coop and its food.

“He loved the food and the concept and the vibe and everything. And he said to me: ‘This is the perfect solution,’ ”Mohamed said.

If construction goes as planned, Rochester Coop is expected to open again this year with a workforce of 25 to 30 employees.

“We hope to open before it gets cold outside, maybe in September,” Mohamed said.

Nashville Coop isn’t the only fast food chicken looking to reign over the roost in Rochester. Popeye has two locations in the pipeline. Chick-fi-la is looking for a second place. Additionally, non-chain restaurants, like Porch Fried Chicken and Rooster’s, also offer fried or grilled dishes.

What sets the Nashville Coop apart?

Mohamed describes the family business as a chicken hut rather than a restaurant. He points out that Nashville Coop focuses solely on chicken. It offers a small menu built only around chicken strips and two versions of chicken “sammiches”. Customers can choose from five levels of spiciness ranging from “MN Nice” to “Cuckin ‘Hot”.

“Another thing that also makes us unique is, and we think no one else does, we blend our mother’s Ethiopian spices. It gives our chicken a very special taste, ”said Mohamed.

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