Brickhouse named Restaurant of the YearAlthough Brickhouse Pub & Grille has been in business for just two years, it has certainly proved to be a fan favorite by securing the honor of “Restaurant of the Year” not once, but twice.
By: Regan Carstensen, The Republican Eagle
Editor’s note: This is the first of five stories looking at the Red Wing Area Chamber of Commerce 2011 winners:
• Manufacturer of the Year: Red Wing Shoe Co.
• Newcomer to the Chamber: All Creatures Veterinary Clinic
• Restaurant of the Year: Brickhouse Pub & Grille
• Retailer of the Year: Meatheads Meats & Deli Inc.
• Service Business of the Year: body kneads Massage & Wellness Center
Although Brickhouse Pub & Grille has been in business for just two years, it has certainly proved to be a fan favorite by securing the honor of “Restaurant of the Year” not once, but twice.
Brickhouse was given its second consecutive “Restaurant of the Year” award from the Red Wing Area Chamber of Commerce at the chamber’s annual meeting Jan. 16. Chamber members vote confidentially online.
Owners Shaun Ryan and Mitzi Bjork were on hand to accept the honor, but they aren’t taking all of the credit.
“It’s the staff that earns the ‘Restaurant of the Year’ award, not just us,” Ryan said.
With seven full-time and 16 part-time employees, Ryan and Bjork said everyone at Brickhouse is a big family. The staff, combined with the patrons, makes work not seem like work at all.
“The people are great, the atmosphere is fun and every day is something new,” Ryan said.
As a chamber member, Brickhouse also acknowledged the chamber for contributing to that success over the past two years.
“They’re such an asset for us as small business people,” Bjork said, adding that the chamber not only keeps them updated on governmental issues, but also offers sessions on lesser-known aspects of keeping up a business. “All the little things you don’t even think about.”
Ryan and Bjork also said they’re thankful that being a member of the chamber and of Red Wing Downtown Main Street has given them so many opportunities to connect with other local establishments.
“We get to know each other and start friendly competitions,” Ryan said.
Although they praised practically everyone but themselves for the honor of receiving “Restaurant of the Year,” Ryan and Bjork are the minds behind the driving force of the restaurant — the menu — and fresh ideas are part of what brings the customers back again and again to a spot that housed two other restaurants.
“We feel real strongly that you need to keep things new,” Bjork said.
For that reason — and as part of a two-year anniversary celebration — Brickhouse is introducing new menu items the weekend of Feb. 3 and 4. Just some of what will be included are additional kinds of the restaurant’s award-winning “stuffed with stuff” burgers, as well as an assortment of drinks created by Ryan. But don’t worry, the menu change won’t cause any classic entrees to disappear.
“Our customers’ favorites of course we’ll keep on there,” Bjork reassured.
With two awards under their belts, Ryan and Bjork hope they can keep up the streak and secure a third next year.
“We’ll do our best to make it easy for them to choose us,” Bjork said.