Winsted-Lester Prairie Journal, March 1, 1999

Subway (the restaurant) opens in Winsted

By Luis Puga

Pajama clad teens from HLWW School were some of the first customers at the new Subway restaurant in Winsted Thursday.

The teens are an indicator of this Subway's new offering for the pajama and non-pajama wearing customers: breakfast.

Owner Paul Kliewer of Cokato said that breakfast is an experimental offer from the Subway menu. An experienced franchise owner, Kliewer has owned a Subway restaurant in Cokato for the past three years.

Now he and his wife Barbara are bringing their years of experience to Winsted.

So why offer breakfast?

Kliewer said that he wants to try the experiment from the beginning, rather than add it later.

He said Subway isn't known for its breakfast menu, so he's going to start with a Monday through Friday 6:30 a.m. opening time to get people used to the idea. Kliewer plans to continue the offering for six months to see how it goes.

His Cokato store doesn't offer the menu of breakfast sandwiches. He said that Cokato has a lot of restaurants that offer breakfast, but in Winsted, his restaurant would be one of the few to do so.

The breakfast menu includes sandwiches made of ham and egg, bacon and egg, steak and egg, cheese and egg, and sausage and egg. There is also a western style sandwich with spices indicative of its name. Breakfast staples such as coffee, juice, milk, and cinnamon rolls will also be offered.

Kliewer also envisions people picking up their sandwiches for lunch early in the morning.

There's also the option of Subway's catering, including its party subs of any length and party platters. Of course, the menu carries the Subway standards of deli sandwiches, six-inch and foot-long subs, and salads.

Previously an athletic director at Dassel-Cokato Schools for 23 years, Kliewer first started to think about a franchise business in 1992. He and Barbara were first introduced to the idea by their son Adam, who now manages the Winsted site.

Upon Adam's recommendation and the fact that he described his family as "business orientated," the Kliewers took the dive into what he said is a "family involved venture."

However, Subway isn't the only business under their belt. They also have The Grounds, a coffee shop in Cokato, as well as a clothing store there. Barbara Kliewer is a master barber and accompanies her talents with a tanning business.

The idea for a Subway in Winsted was not Kliewer's. The Subway corporation called him and offered him the spot there. The company prefers to work with owners who have experience because they have to do considerably less training to get the business started.

Kliewer said that start-up of this restaurant was easier than the first time in Cokato. Indicators for a successful restaurant are essentially population and traffic counts.

He said that he is "thrilled to be bringing this business to Winsted." He noted that he was welcomed with open arms and was thankful for the help he got from people in town in starting up.

Depending on volume of customers, predictably, but not exclusively youths, the early morning hours of the restaurant are subject to change. Saturday and Sunday, the restaurant opens at 10:30 a.m.

However, there are some late night hours such as Friday until 2 a.m., and Saturday until 1 a.m.

With a good location on Co. Rd . 1, and a fortuitous proximity next to both the baseball and football field, Kliewer hopes to have a thriving restaurant.

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