Local residents and tourists alike are taking advantage of a flavorful new option in the area with the opening of Clara’s Eatery in downtown Lanesboro, Minn.
It seems that what Clara’s Eatery is offering is just what many people have been waiting for. Not only is there a pizza place open in town again, which makes everyone happy, there are menu choices to please anyone in the family.
After seeing their dream of owning a business come to life, the owners of Clara’s Eatery, Jordan and Christina Evenson, have given a lot of thought into their new restaurant and its menu.
Although Jordan and Christina grew up in Austin, Minn., and were happily living there with their family and both working at Hormel in careers they enjoyed, the Lanesboro area had always been special to them.
Jordan’s great-grandmother Clara Evenson lived in Lanesboro until her death at age 102. The restaurant name pays homage to Clara.
“We spent summers down here, we always camped down here, so we always loved Lanesboro,” Jordan explains.
“We always loved the bluff country,” Jordan says. Christina agrees, adding, “The bluffs have our heart,” and their family is very excited to be part of the Lanesboro community as well.
The couple had always toyed with the idea of opening some kind of eating establishment and when Jordan saw the opportunity to purchase the building through the KROC music station newsletter, he quickly sent the link to Christina.
“Then we kind of pursued our options to see how we could make it happen. We started the paperwork in April, closed in May and moved to Preston in June – so it’s kind of been a whirlwind,” explains Christina.
The couple have some experience in the field as Jordan worked at a couple of pizza places through high school and college and Christina was employed by sandwich shops in college, which they enjoyed.
A “soft opening” took place on May 20. “We kept it simple while we get our feet under us,” states Jordan.
The menu at Clara’s Eatery features the same pizza recipe that was used by previous owner of the building, Kim Berekvam, who was a tremendous support and wealth of knowledge for the Evensons.
Clara’s Eatery also offers cold sandwiches and hot panini sandwiches with a range of ingredients for your choosing.
Another option on the menu which has turned out to be very popular are the “plates” including the Monkey Plate (seasonal fresh fruit), Puppy Plate (meats and cheeses) and the Bunny Plate (seasonal raw veggies) which are served in to-go containers – perfect to take on the bike trail, to the brewery, or to the park for an impromptu picnic.
Referencing Jordan’s Grandma Glady from Preston, is the Glady Meal. “It’s our spin on a happy meal,” with a choice of grilled cheese or pb & j, served with kettle chips and fruit or veggies.
If someone in your group has not found what they want so far, then the big salad or the pizza fries might hit the spot.
Clara’s Eatery is proud to use fresh ingredients. All veggies are fresh, not canned, including mushrooms. The pineapple on your pizza will be fresh, not out of a can.
After a delicious lunch, there is always room for ice cream! Especially Chocolate Shoppe brand ice cream. With 16 unique flavors and at least two non-dairy options, this may be a more difficult decision than ordering your meal. Then comes the mouth-watering choice of homemade waffle cone or dish, sugar cone, cake cone, or the amazing homemade chocolate dipped waffle cone! You really can’t go wrong no matter what you choose.
Business has been great since opening and the Evensons could not feel more blessed. Their children – daughter Huxley, 8, and son Henry, 5, feel at home in Lanesboro and help in the restaurant. Huxley helps with the register and Henry helps with dishes and ice cream tasting.
“The community has embraced us and we want to support that,” states Jordan. Christina shares the sentiment, saying the businesses in Lanesboro have been “phenomenal,” sharing a story about how she has even bartered a pizza for dish soap! “Everyone has been so helpful and so generous that it’s still a dream – now a reality, which is weird for us to still wrap our heads around,” states Christina.
Clara’s Eatery is located at 111 Parkway Ave. N. in Lanesboro. Stop by during their Grand Opening on August 13, which is Clara’s birthday! As you walk in there is a picture of Clara to the right and many other family photos decorate the walls. Other cherished items include drawings from Christina’s grandmother that she sends for family birthdays. Be sure to take time to enjoy them all.
Clara’s Eatery will be open seven days a week and plan to be open year-round, although hours may vary in winter. Business hours are currently Monday through Thursday – 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday and Saturday – 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Online ordering is available through claraseatery.com. Customers can also call (507) 467-2200 for order pick up or there is a convenient walk-up window as well.
Whether sitting down for a casual meal or grabbing something fast and fresh to go, give Clara’s Eatery a try!