There is a new gathering place in Mabel, Minn., that will have you feeling like royalty from the moment you walk in the door. Joe’s Pizza Palace and Pub is now open and serving happy customers.
Owner Joe Houdek is pleased to have the new business up and running after a complete renovation was done.
“We re-did the whole thing,” states Houdek. His Amish friends did most of the remodeling work including the bar and the bar top, bar stools, doors, trim and much more.
The kitchen has been updated with new equipment and a seasoned pizza oven from a former pizza place was brought in.
With two large rooms and plenty of seating both inside the building and outside on the patio, it is a very welcoming and comfortable atmosphere.
“I thought a pizza place and pub would go over good in Mabel,” states Houdek, and it seems he was right, as he says business has been “excellent” since he opened the doors on May 23, 2023.
“I used to flip houses and sell houses and got kind of tired of that and wanted to try something different,” explains Houdek. He continues to finish cattle and crop farming at his farm near Cresco.
Area residents have been very excited about the business opening and have been showing their support in many ways.
“Everybody has had really positive comments and compliments and encouraging words,” notes Houdek.
The tempting, tasty pizza can be made with a wide variety of your favorite toppings or you can order a specialty pizza such as a chicken bacon ranch. But Joe’s Pizza Palace and Pub has much more to offer in both food and drinks.
Appetizers include familiar items such as onion rings, tator tots, mozzarella sticks, etc. but also include interesting, some may even say unusual, offerings like deep-fried gizzards, mac & cheese bites and spicy cheese balls.
Other selections on the menu include wing dings and other wings, fish nuggets and breaded shrimp. Are you hungry yet? Let’s move on!
The Royal Burger is described as hash browns, 1/3 lb.beef patty, egg and cheddar cheese, which sounds tempting. Other sandwiches listed are breaded pork tenderloin, pizza burger, breaded chicken sandwich and more.
For a heartier appetite there is a variety of dinners such as ham steak dinner, chicken strip dinner as well as others.
Many types of cold beverages are available to enjoy by themselves or with your meal, especially on these hot summer days.
Houdek currently has a staff of 12 people which includes General Manager Emelia Ramirez. Ramirez reiterated that “it’s been busy” since they opened and she is happy to see so many people coming in.
“It’s great having the support of the community; Mabel needed a restaurant,” Ramirez said.
“For a lot of these kids it’s a first time job,” explains Houdek, and he is happy to be bringing these jobs to the area and contributing to the local economy. “Every weekend these kids learn more and more,” he says.
Houdek is appreciative to area residents for their support and encouragement. He also explains that a big supporter of his was unable to see the restaurant reach the point of opening.
Mayor Jim Westby, who passed away in September 2022 “was pro-Joe the whole time,” states Houdek. “He was a big encourager,” he explains, adding “It would have been nice if he had seen it open,” since he was in such support of Houdek and the business he dreamed of opening.
Houdek has some ideas for the future of the business and hinted that there may be live bands playing outside at some point. He also points out that the back room is large enough for private parties and events. Several people have taken advantage of the space already, as it is very convenient and comfortable.
Joe’s Pizza Palace and Pub is located at 301 N. Robert St., off State Hwy. 44 in Mabel, Minn. Business hours at this time are Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 2–10 p.m. For more information call (5070 493.5903. They also have a facebook page at facebook.com/Joe’s Pizza Palace and Pub.