Making Easter dinners a little more special

Bar Harbor to provide free meals, The Center to add activity packet to meals at Wings Café.

Easter Dinner The Center
Patty Nelson (left), volunteer, and Karen Grunewald, office staff, collage Easter project sheets that are a collaboration between the Brainerd Wings Café and The Center in Brainerd. Submitted Photo

It won’t be a typical Easter Sunday with big family gatherings around the dinner table or going out for Easter brunch at one of the many restaurants in the Brainerd lakes area.

The coronavirus pandemic has changed everything from closing businesses to people losing their jobs to causing an economic hardship — stressful for many.

The community has been pulling together in different ways to help people and Easter Sunday, April 12, is no different. Area businesses and community organizations are working together in hopes to put a smile on people’s faces and fill their bellies.

Bar Harbor chicken
Bar Harbor in Lake Shore will be offering a free broasted chicken dinner for take-out on Easter Sunday for veterans, the elderly and those who are dealing with a financial hardship. Submitted Photo


Bar Harbor in Lake Shore is providing up to 500 free takeout meals on Easter Sunday for veterans, senior citizens and those who have a financial hardship. The meal is broasted chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, country corn, green beans, coleslaw and a dinner roll.

Justin Allen, manager at Bar Harbor, said the restaurant hosted a chicken dinner every Sunday during the wintertime and decided to bring it back to help lift people’s spirits now as everyone is dealing with the pandemic. The restaurant wanted to give back to the community and help those in need right now.

People interested in a meal may call Bar Harbor at 218-963-2568 to place their order from noon to 3 p.m. Friday-Saturday, April 10-11. When people place their order they will be asked for their name, number of meals and desired pickup time. The supper club will have a designated curbside pickup area in front of the building. People may pick up their orders noon to 6 p.m. Sunday.

Allen said Bar Harbor has not participated in doing takeout at this time, but it is something they may do in the near future depending on what happens with the coronavirus.

The Center and Wings Café in Brainerd partnered for an Easter dinner treat. Those ordering the traditional ham meal for Easter Sunday will also receive an activity packet put together by volunteers and staff at the senior center in Brainerd.

Wings food
The Easter dinner offered from Wings Cafe in Brainerd includes ham, mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans, a roll and a strawberry dessert. Submitted Photo

DeAnn Barry, executive director of The Center, said they thought it would be fun to put together an activity packet along with their newsletter with the meals at Wings Café. The packet includes several crossword puzzles and sudokus, along with the answers and coloring pages.


“Mark (Nesheim, owner of Wings Café) was willing to partner with us on this,” Barry said. “We hope this will add to everyone’s sanity while we are sheltered in place. The pages are kid appropriate, they’re senior appropriate. We thought we could do this to wish everyone a happy Easter and give them something fun to do at the same time.”

Nesheim said he was on board with the idea as soon as Barry asked him about the partnership.

“It’s cool,” Nesheim said. “We did some stuff with The Center for a fundraiser dinner before and (Barry) wants to keep busy, like we all do and to do something for the community.”

The Easter dinner — all made from scratch — will include a ham dinner, mashed potatoes, green beans, a dinner roll and strawberry pie in a cup. The meals cost $12.95 and will be fresh and in a to-go package. Meals may be ordered hot 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday or can be ordered anytime cold and all people have to do is heat it up. People may call Wings Café at 218-828-0206.

Nesheim said he enjoys working and promoting The Center. He said his sister is a volunteer there and it is a good organization for older residents.

Ganley’s Restaurant in Nisswa is offering a to-go pan-fried walleye dinner with baked potato and coleslaw. The dinner is a benefit to support The Outreach Program of Brainerd Lakes. The program has provided more than 37,000 meals in emergency food relief to the lakes area every week during the COVID-19 pandemic. The dinner is a free-will donation, but has a suggested $10 donation per meal.

People may order a meal by calling 218-963-3528 and pay by credit card. The dinner is being offered for pickup 4-7 p.m. Friday.

The Brainerd Dispatch posted through its Facebook page seeking businesses doing something special for Easter meals. One submission was from the Dairy Queen stating it would be open 10-10:30 p.m. Sunday and would have its Dairy Queen cakes available and its buy one, get one half off blizzard sale.


Tina Jensen with the Dairy Queen stated in her email, “Lets share the happy memories with a DQ Cake or Blizzard treat on Easter, Happy Tastes Good!!!! ... Let's continue to make memories, together, one red spoon and act of kindness at a time!!”

Editor's note: This story was updated to include the Wing's Cafe phone number.

JENNIFER KRAUS may be reached at or 218-855-5851. Follow me at on Twitter.

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