By Jennifer Von Ohlen
COKATO, MN Locals are already buzzing about the new Bait and Hook (B&H) restaurant along Highway 12, bringing seafood and grill to smalltown Cokato.
The restaurant is scheduled to open its doors for a soft-opening, with a smaller menu, during Corn Carnival week Monday, Aug. 8 - Friday, Aug. 13 from 3 to 10 p.m.
The following week, B&H will open at the same time Thursday, Aug. 18 and Friday, Aug. 19 before its grand opening, with the full menu, Saturday, Aug. 20.
This will be the second location for B&H, originally established in 2012 and located in the heart of the East Village in New York, NY.
The owners, who wish to not be named, moved to Dassel in 2014 to raise their family of two boys in the mother’s hometown.
Having worked in the hospitality business since 1995, the couple thought the perfect opportunity arose to expand the restaurant when the location of the previous Red Goat restaurant went up for sale.
“We know that Cokato needs something, so we would love to give back to the community, as far as what we know, and that’s restaurants,” stated the owner.
Almost all of the items off the menu have been tasted and tested by restaurant customers in NY, and the owners guarantee they brought only the “best of the best” to Cokato.
The chef, Christopher Enright, is currently a professor of culinary in hospitality management. He is also corporate executive of Major Food Products, where he is responsible for creating recipes, presentations, as well as distributor sales training and business development.
Those who may not have the taste for seafood can enjoy alternative meat dishes, supplied by French Lake Butchers, and the restaurant’s produce will come from Minnesota Organic Farm in Hutchinson.
Fully aware that the community already knows what it likes and does not like for food, B&H wanted to provide some of those familiar dishes baby back ribs, wings, and sirloin burgers in addition to the newer selections locals do not have easily available crab cakes, lobster rolls, and calamari. A children’s menu will also be available, at $5 a meal.
Also, in keeping with the community, the B&H has kept its prices on the lower, more reasonable side than what most think when considering seafood cuisine.
“We’re not traditional in any way, shape, or form,” said the owner. “We want people to come in here and relax in a comfortable setting,” whether it means enjoying an evening cocktail or eating lobster rolls while watching a Sunday game on the large screen.
B&H is not meant to be a restaurant for special occasions, but a community gathering place for laid-back socializing with new food to try.
“We’re excited to offer our food to the community, and [to] offer a place for the community to come together and dine in their hometown and not have to go anywhere else,” the owner added.
Regular hours will be Thursdays through Saturdays from 3 to 10 p.m. B&H hopes to extend its hours to include Sundays and lunches in the near future.
For more information and business updates, visit baitandhookmn.com or its facebook page: Bait and Hook Seafood and Grill MN.