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‘Go Winnebago’ Grill

By Staff | Sep 28, 2009

It was a big day Sept. 19 for the new Winnebago Grill restaurant in downtown Winnebago. They held their grand opening and ribbon cutting.

What had started as just an idea a few months ago had come full cycle.

After the Bake My Day restaurant closed, Winnebago business owners Scott and Mae Robertson decided to purchase the building and open a restaurant to serve the Winnebago area.

“The key was we hired Joyce Scofield,” Mae Robertson says. “She is our head cook and the person in charge of all the food.”

Scofield does all the food ordering, plans the meals, and makes sure the food is prepared right. She has a lot of experience, having worked at the country club and the Winnebago American Legion, among other places.

The restaurant opened unofficially on Aug. 13 for a three day trial run. Its official opening day was Monday, Aug. 17.

“It has been really good since the day we opened,” Robertson says. “Surprisingly good.”

They are open from 6 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, and from 6 a.m.-8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.

“Our morning hours are very busy, we get a big group for breakfast and coffee every day,” Robertson says. “They all know I am not a morning person so they tell me it is the best part of the day. I’m not so sure,” she adds with a laugh.

Lunch time is also busy. They have daily specials, and people can come in for a quick bite if they need to get back to work right away.

The new restaurant will do parties, reunions, special events and more. They also do catering.

When they thought about a name for the new venture, the Robertson’s decided to be sure and have Winnebago in the name.

“So many times a restaurant has a fancy name but you don’t know where it is,” Mae Robertson explains. “We want people to know this is in Winnebago.”

Once people come in the front door they will sure know they are in Winnebago. The restaurant is decorated in the old Winnebago School colors – red, black and white – and there are pictures from old Winnebago High School yearbooks hanging on the walls. Many are from 1948, but other years are represented as well. The Robertsons also hired an artist from Mankato to paint senior quotes from the annuals on the walls.

“People love to look at the pictures and reminisce and talk about the old days,” Robertson says. “They pick out people they know and make comments.”

As for the future, the Robertsons plan on adding more noon and nightly specials, and a jukebox might be in the future for the retro-styled restaurant.

“We just wanted to make it bright and cheery and also a relaxing place to meet and eat with your friends and neighbors,” Robertson says. “And people seem to really like it.”