Larsens to open Lakes Bar and Grill on Friday
By CHUCK CLEMENT, Staff Reporter
Area residents suffering from cabin fever will have another reason to get out of the house starting this weekend with the opening of the Lakes Bar & Grill located at The Lake Golf Course southeast of Madison.
Vonnie and Neil Larsen, the managers of the Lakes Bar and Grill, stand behind the bar in the lounge area of their new establishment located on the southeast side of Lake Madison.
Neil and Vonnie Larsen, the new managers of the restaurant and lounge, were busy Thursday (today) with the final touches to reopen the eating establishment situated between the shores of Lake Madison and Round Lake.
The lounge area offers an elevated view of Round Lake for customers at the old-fashioned wooden bar. Outside, everything is frozen from the last couple of days of cold temperatures. However, starting on Friday, forecasters are predicting milder weather and higher temperatures well into next week.
The kitchen is ready and the bar is stocked. The Larsens have kept the lounge and dining areas styled the same so customers will recognize the establishment. For entertainment, a big-screen TV stands above the U-shaped bar and several video-lottery machines line up against a wall.
However, the Larsens are betting that their menu will attract diners. The couple used to operate both of The Keg restaurants in Sioux Falls. Vonnie Larsen said the kitchen will continue to serve Neil's "famous fried chicken" that gave the Sioux Falls restaurants some renown.
"Neil's been frying chicken for 33 years, and the recipe has been around since before he started cooking," Vonnie Larsen said.
Neil Larsen will scale back a bit on cooking chicken at the Lakes Bar and Grill, where he only has two fryers. At the east-side Keg restaurant, the kitchen had 19 fryers; the west-side Keg boasted 25 fryers.
"We were large. We probably had the biggest fryer lineup in the United States," Neil Larsen said.
The grill's menu will also serve beef chislic and all-American burgers accompanied by the Larsens' offering of sides that include Vonnie's baked beans, Donna Mae's cole slaw, potato salad and potato wedges.
The Larsens plan to open for business at 3 p.m. Friday with a schedule limited to Fridays and Saturdays probably until mid-March. They plan to serve customers from 3-10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays for about six weeks and then expand to Mondays during the last half of March.
During April, they expect to increase their hours to six days a week, taking Tuesdays off.
With their current schedule, the bar will hold a happy hour from 4-7 p.m. on Fridays and provide a Bloody Mary bar from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays.