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HL restaurant gets a new owner and a new look
Jan. 19, 2014

By Tara Mathews
Staff writer

HOWARD LAKE, MN – The restaurant at 728 6th Street in Howard Lake, previously known as Sunni’s Grille, is getting a makeover; and will soon be open.

Theresa Vashro of Howard Lake, bought the building Jan. 2.

“I saw the building online and thought, ‘that building is so cute,’” she noted.

Sunrise Cafe will open mid- to late-February, according to Vashro.

“I wanted to open sooner, but I have a lot of small items to tie up,” she added.

The cafe will have a bistro-like feel, and serve only breakfast and lunch, at first.

“Later in the spring I intend to have it open Thursday through Saturday evenings for supper,” Vashro stated.

Sunrise Cafe will feature classic, traditional foods, such as burgers, commercials (a meat, mashed potato, bread, and gravy combination), and meatloaf.

“I think good, home-style food will go over well in this area,” she said. “A bistro type restaurant will give out a home-like feeling, as well.”

Vashro plans to have the cafe open for the early morning coffee drinkers, which is something that seems to be needed in Howard Lake, she said.

Sunrise Cafe will be open Monday through Saturday, 6 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Sundays 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Vashro plans to cook, and hire one additional cook and two servers.

“After just running an ad in the paper and listing the position on Indeed, I have more than 20 applications already,” she commented.

Vashro has painted the walls, put up new tapestry, redecorated, fixed furniture, installed a new hand-washing sink, installed new stainless backdrops behind equipment, and cleaned most of the building.

She wants to add more tapestry, have WiFi installed, finish decorating, and complete repairs by Valentine’s Day, she said.

About the owner

Vashro grew up in Minnetonka, graduated from Hopkins High School, and attended college at Minneapolis Community College.

She has been working in the restaurant business since age 14, when she worked for a pizza restaurant in Hopkins.

Following college, Vashro worked at Gold Nugget Tavern and Grille in Minnetonka for 20 years.

She owned a bar and grill in South Haven, and a meat-smoking shop in Brainerd before working as the nutritional culinary director at a senior housing facility.

Vashro has also worked in food sales previously, and is currently finishing up her last few days as a Bernick’s employee, where she worked in the food service department for 3M in Hutchinson.

She recently bought a house in Howard Lake to be closer to her new business.

“I am excited to bring great home-style cooking to the community,” Vashro noted.

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