Brownsville business changing hands

Submitted  Top of the Rock owner Brent Carlon with manager Shelly Dixon.
Top of the Rock owner Brent Carlon with manager Shelly Dixon.

Craig Moorhead

The Caledonia Argus

If all goes according to plan, a Brownsville landmark will change hands later this month.

Perched on the side of a high bluff overlooking the Mississippi River (405 N 2nd Street), the Top of the Rock bar and grill is unique. And it’s been over 17 years since the establishment officially became Carlon’s Top of the Rock.

The view is startling. There’s a solid bank of windows facing the river, so miles of scenery stretch into view as vessels thrum by far below. Patrons can actually gaze down on bald eagles as they soar across the wide valley of the big muddy.

“We say ‘It’s the best view from a bar stool,’” manager Shelly Dixon grinned.

Dixon keeps busy as folks stop in for a bite to eat, or a thirst quencher. The last day for Carlon’s Top of the Rock will be April 23, she said. Drink specials are planned all day.

“I believe this place was built in 1947,” the manager noted. “It was Rohrer’s Tavern to begin with. “But it’s been known as the Top of the Rock for decades, maybe 40 years.”

Dixon is the sister of owner Brent Carlon. “All of the large equipment is included in the sale,” he said, “so I don’t know whether it will continue as a business or not.

“Right now, it’s scheduled to change ownership, but I can’t say what’s going to happen after that,” Carlon cautioned.

“The best thing for me has been the people,” he noted. “It’s amazing all of people you meet. We have folks who come by to see the fall leaves, and birdwatchers, and everyone else. I worked here (Top of the Rock) for three years before I bought the place.

“It’s been fun to serve the community for 17 years,” Carlon concluded.

“We went into this with a three-year plan,” Dixon stated, “which became a five-year, then a ten-year plan. But it’s time now to spend a little more time with family, both for me and for Brent.”

Do you ever get tired of the view? “No,” Dixon said.

“It’s bittersweet,” she added. “I’ve really enjoyed the people and the community here. They’re just wonderful. It’s a small town, everybody knows each other, and if anything happens everybody comes together and takes care of each other. People around here are always willing to help each other out.

“That’s what I’m going to miss, and all of the camaraderie, too. We appreciate our loyal customers. They have supported us through thick and thin.

“But I won’t miss washing all those windows.”