Feb. 12, 2007

Bergie's is sold in HL

New owners are a young couple from St. Bonifacius

By Lynda Jensen

A page of Howard Lake history turned last week when Bergie’s Restaurant was sold by Steve and Trudy Berg of Howard Lake to Kade and Maria Klahsen of St. Bonifacius.

The recipes and name will stay the same, commented new owner Kade Klahsen.

“We don’t plan to change much,” he said. However, the Klahsens would like to add beer and wine to their menu, perhaps add a Sunday brunch, and extend the current hours to catch sports crowds and the like.

Trudy Berg officially turned over the pizza cutters Tuesday. Her family has been in the pizza business for more than 40 years. Her father, Red Hatrick, operated Red’s Pizza for decades in Howard Lake, beginning in 1958. Red also operated a pizza business in Winsted for a short time.

In 1988, Red sold the business, only to have the family buy it back in 1997, with the modern-day Bergie’s being the result.

Originally, Red’s Pizza was located where Sunni’s Grill is now, and then moved to its current location along Highway 12, just west of the bank.

Berg expressed confidence in the new owners, saying the Klahsens have “passion in the belly,” for the business. “They remind me of Steve and myself when we were younger,” she said.

The sale also seemed meant to be, since they were matched up almost immediately by a restaurant broker. When Trudy listed the business, the broker said, “I know just the people,” she said.

Familiar with the business

The Klahsens are familiar with the restaurant business.

Kade has served as executive chef for Lunds and Byerly’s, as well as having worked as a chef for both Sunset of Wayzata and Epic of Eden Prairie. “I’ve been doing this 11 years,” he commented.

He might add a few different crust versions of pizza, including deep dish, he said.

Kade is originally from Iowa, but lived the last several years in Minnesota.

Maria has also worked at restaurants, and will be doing the bookwork at Bergie’s. She is from a big family in Watertown; in fact her brothers operate Drews Construction. She also has family members who live in Montrose.

The Klahsens are looking forward to working in a small town. Kade said he doesn’t care for the congestion of the big city, and wanted a place where they could raise children in safety.

Maria is expecting, with a due date of May 8.

They have two other children, Collin, 6, and Kaya, 2.

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