CURRIE — Currie's American classic eatery Lakeside Hideaway (101 Mill St. N.) has reopened for business with a new name and a new menu focusing on popular barbecue items.
Mill Street BBQ Co.. opened July 30 after an interior and exterior remodel, which was made possible by the mandated shutdown of restaurants due to COVID-19.
Mill Street BBQ's owners have a long history at the restaurant's location.
As a senior in high school, Matt Schreier worked at the former T-Tommy's Mill Street Grill. That establishment closed on New Years Eve 2009, and Matt purchased the building.
Matt opened Lakeside Hideaway in the same spot in May 2010, just as he and his now-wife, Elizabeth, began dating. When the Schreiers got married, Elizabeth became co-owner, and they've been operating their business together ever since.
Elizabeth also had some serving experience before joining the Lakeside Hideaway team, and now Matt describes her role as "the creative force behind a lot of things."
Lakeside Hideaway featured "a new take on classics," Matt explained. The menu was big, and barbecue items were the most popular. For the last three or four years, the Schreiers have thought about narrowing the bill of fare and rebranding as a BBQ joint, but it was never a convenient time to close for renovations.
COVID-19 changed that.
When the state of Minnesota required all restaurants to close for dine-in service for a few weeks, the Schreiers saw the directive as a perfect opportunity to make the change. They redid the floors and the building's façade, and worked on narrowing the scope of the menu.
"We are still focusing on quality ingredients and working toward being a scratch kitchen," Matt said.
The new menu offers a variety of smoked BBQ meats like brisket, ribs and chicken wings, along with classics like steak and new items including mahi mahi tacos and salmon.
Mill Street BBQ also has a couple of brand-new amenities in the age of COVID-19. A recently-added deli section includes take-and-bake meal kits, such as focaccia pizza — which the Schreiers have sold through Painted Prairie Vineyard for a while — and off-sale drink mixes.
Although the location is the same and the process is similar to what they've been doing for a decade, re-opening feels almost like starting a new restaurant from scratch, Elizabeth explained. A lot of planning and tweaking has gone into making Mill Street BBQ a reality.
Part of what makes the transition possible is the help of dedicated staff, the Schreiers noted. Many Mill Street BBQ employees have worked for the Schreiers for years.
"That's definitely part of our secret to success," Matt said.
The BBQ joint is open Thursday through Monday from 5 to 9 p.m. Elizabeth recommends ordering the brisket sandwich, and Matt enjoys the wings.