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Lakes Grill to open in former Matty's

The Lakes Grill and Bar is opening 11 a.m. April 16 just off Highway 371 North near Brainerd International Raceway in the building that formerly housed Matty’s restaurant, which closed unexpectedly a few weeks ago.

The restaurant reports it will serve lunch and dinner seven days a week and serve breakfast Tuesday through Saturday starting at 7 a.m. Tuesday April 17.

The building continues to be owned by Steve Meyer. John Bukovich is the new general manager. Tiffany Jeffers is the bar manager. The chef is Adam Soberski.

Jeffers said they are working to create a neighborhood atmosphere with fishing mounts and fishing theme.

Since Matty’s closed and the signs came down there has been speculation on the reasons behind it. Matt Walsh is no longer associated with the restaurant. He could not be reached by phone. Employees reported they weren’t paid for several weeks of work. Jeffers said they have been paying employees who were not paid and plan to continue to do so to make things right. Walsh’s previous restaurants closed with employees and others reporting they were not paid.

When asked about the reason for the closing, Jeffers said the reason for the closing was financial as profits made were not given to the investor. Several restaurants have come and gone in the space. Jeffers said this will be different because of “proper management.”

She said: “Managers here don’t have baggage that will cost the business.”

In a news release, Bukovich said they love the tourist business but the Lakes Grill is a local business with a local focus.

Menu items include burgers, sandwiches, pizzas, appetizers and kids’ meals. The Lakes Grill reported “all food will be handmade in house to order.”

Breakfast offerings include Lakes Eggs Benedict with two homemade walleye cakes on toasted English muffin, sliced tomato, poached eggs and homemade Hollandaise sauce. Other highlights include corned beef hash with two eggs and an item called The Anchor, with a bed of hashbrowns covered in melted cheddar and jack cheese topped with chili and two eggs at any style. Other menu items include a Rueben, a Lakes Walleye Cake sandwich, and pizzas.

The restaurant has a backyard deck, outdoor bar, fire pit and concert stage. Jeffers said she believes the backyard is a gem that has yet to be fully utilized.

In going forward, Jeffers said they plan to run the restaurant the way it was meant to be run.

A brew pub could be in Baxter’s future.

A prospective business recently approached the city seeking an ordinance amendment to allow an on-sale brewer taproom and off-sale growler as liquor license options, which the city council approved.

A brewer taproom license allows consumption of the malt liquor produced by the brewer on the brewery premises or next to it. Off-sale growler licenses authorizes off-sale of malt liquor produced by a brewer and packaged in 64-ounce containers.

The city’s ordinance was also amended to add residence to the language already there noting there isn’t a distance limitation between a premise with a liquor license and a church or school in a commercial district. A 300-foot distance applies to noncommercial districts.

RENEE RICHARDSON, senior reporter, may be reached at 855-5852 or Follow on Twitter at

Renee Richardson
Richardson is a Pacelli High School graduate from Austin, Minn., who earned an applied science degree from the University of Minnesota, Waseca, with an emphasis in horse management. She worked extensively in the resort industry. She received an associate’s degree from Central Lakes College, where she was editor of the Westbank Journal student newspaper, as well as a summer intern at the Dispatch. She graduated from St. Cloud State University summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in mass communications and interned at the St. Cloud Times covering business while attending SCSU. She's been with the Brainerd Dispatch since 1996.
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