By Lynda Jensen
DASSEL, MN Hojies’ Grill & Smokehouse in Dassel will be closing its doors Sunday, Dec. 13, confirmed owner Craig Hagen Thursday.
“There’s been too many things in the past few years,” Hagen said, noting the economy and other factors.
Hagen has owned the restaurant for 13 years, with his wife, Marcella.
The Hagens bought what was then called the Dassel Diner in August 1996, along with Craig’s parents, Art and Rosemary Hagen.
The name was changed from the Dassel Diner to Hojies’ Grill to reflect the nickname that Craig had as a bat boy for the DC Saints.
Craig and Marcy worked side-by-side at Hojies’, with Craig working in the kitchen, and Marcy working behind the counter.
Before purchasing Hojies’, Craig managed and cooked in Minnesota and Florida for 15 years.
When they bought the restaurant in 1996, a charcoal grill was installed to create smoked foods that made the restaurant legendary. Changes and updates were made over the years, as well.
The restaurant business runs deep for both Marcy and Craig. Marcy was employed at the Prairie House when it opened under Bruce and Diane Kohls in 1976. Craig cooked there when Matt and Laura DeLong managed the restaurant, and he also was the assistant manager under Wanda Felmlee, at the time. In fact, that’s how the Hagens met each other, Marcy told the Enterprise in 1996.