Closed W’bago restaurant to reopen
“We’re starting over.”
Those are the words of Winnebago business owner Scott Reisenbigler. Reisenbigler, along with his wife Katie, closed their Winnebago restaurant, Ann Marie’s Kitchen, after just three months of operation last year.
Once the couple purchased the building on South Main Street in February, 2017, Reisenbigler explains a myriad of issues forced the couple to prematurely close the restaurant.
Outdated flooring, inadequate air conditioning and electrical problems were among the main concerns in the building. Reisenbigler admits these issues should have been addressed before opening the restaurant.
“It was our own mistake and we’re learning from it,” Reisenbigler says. “When we bought the place, we were just so excited, we didn’t do our due diligence. We should have paid attention and done a lot more research.”
Reisenbigler views this initial setback as a valuable learning experience for the future of his family business. Undeterred, he plans to reopen the restaurant in the near future.
This time around however, Reisenbigler says he will focus his energies on his true passion; barbecued foods. Armed with a new purpose, the establishment will also be operating under a different name, Scotty Biggs Barbeque.
Before reopening the restaurant, Reisenbigler is busy showcasing his barbecuing skills at various catering jobs and events. Remaining visible in the community, the culinary enthusiast says he has received very positive feedback.
“My phone is ringing all the time to do catering,” Reisenbigler adds. “For me it’s fun because I get to get out and meet people. Everyone is always asking when can they get some barbecue again.”
One of Reisenbigler’s most popular culinary creations happens to be a Potato Bomb. This delectable treat consists of a potato stuffed with sour cream, and either pork or brisket. The potato is then topped off with a homemade cheese sauce. Reisenbigler says the Potato Bomb has been a rousing success on social media.
“People are just going nuts over our baked Potato Bombs. We did a poll on Facebook and about 200 people got in on the poll,” Reisenbigler says. “It was a landslide of how many people preferred Potato Bombs over everything else.”
Reisenbigler, who grew up in Mankato, has been cooking for the past 30 years. From Orlando, Florida, to Washington D.C., to Phoenix, Arizona, the well traveled chef has lived all across the country pursuing his passion for food. However, Reisenbigler shares he didn’t always have a love for the kitchen.
As it turns out, he learned the tricks of the trade as a member of the United States Army. In between his junior and senior years of high school back in 1989, Reisenbigler was stationed in Fort Benning, an army base in Georgia. The young soldier says he wasn’t given much of a choice.
“They came in the barracks one day and they said ‘who wants to dig holes, and who wants to cook?’ I volunteered to cook and that was my introduction into cooking.”
Once Scotty Biggs Barbeque is reopened, Reisenbigler envisions his restaurant will specialize as a quick service operation. He is encouraged with the success other food service establishments have had with customers picking up their food on the go.
“You look at McDonald’s, or Casey’s, or Kwik Trip, that’s what everybody wants. Especially lunches, nobody wants to sit down and wait,” Reisenbigler says.
“If we can get this quick service in here, and people coming down Highway 169 will see Scotty Biggs Barbeque, they can come in and go right out the door,” he adds.