The landmark Northwoods Café in the Silver Bay shopping center changed ownership and appearance on Oct. 1. After 16 years, owners Kathy and Terry "Mouse" Thompson handed over the keys to Floyd Baker and his wife Jessica Moen Baker as they begin their new endeavor as proprietors of the locally famous gathering place.
The Bakers were born and raised in the Finland/Silver Bay area and both have family here. They have partnered with award-winning chef Everette Haselow II and his wife Anne of Finland to help behind the scenes. The new owners hope to create a destination stop for tourists and locals alike. The team is rebranding the restaurant with a new look as well as a new name - it will become Northwoods Family Grille.
Jessica said they deal was finalized Wednesday and they are shutting the doors while they remodel. She said they are hoping the remodel will be complete in six to eight weeks and will be keeping the public updated on their progress through social media. They can be found on Facebook at www.facebook.com/northwoodsfamilygrille.
"Our plans during this time are to remove the cinder block wall between the two dining areas and give a full facelift to the dining area," Floyd said. "There will be new ceilings, paint, custom built walls and tables, custom lighting and new flooring."
"I have had a great time," Kathy Thompson said. "This has been a wonderful place to work and a wonderful town to be a part of."
While the Thompsons are looking forward to slowing down a little, Kathy said she will miss the harmony of the restaurant.
"I will miss seeing the regulars and catching up on what is new with them," she said. "I hope the new owners receive the community support that I have found."
The new restaurateurs will be using techniques taught to them by Robert Irvine of the Food Network's "Restaurant Impossible" as a guideline for building their dream of a rustic yet fine dining experience.
"At the new Northwoods Family Grille, we will offer breakfast served all day, as well as a variety of American style and comfort foods, award-winning burger recipes and smoked meats. We plan to offer take out online ordering and take-out service in the future as well," Jessica said.
All the partners said they are excited about this new venture and look forward to finding ways to give back to the community and expand the customer base.